Entrepreneur

Food Delivery Startup That Simplifies M’sian Workers’ Lunch Dilemmas Raises RM418k In Funds

SmartBite, an AI-powered food delivery startup that caters to working professionals in the Kuala Lumpur CBD, has just raised over RM418,000 through an equity crowdfunding campaign on pitchIN.

This brings their total investment amount to over RM2.93 million. SmartBite plans to use this investment to expand its corporate offerings in catering and employee benefit programmes.

Companies will be able to manage their F&B requirements for events, meetings and any corporate activity through SmartBite’s platform instead of engaging and managing multiple suppliers and vendors.

It will do this by introducing a catering solution that leverages on its existing technology to manage large corporate food orders. The startup will give HR departments access to the logistics and management tools within SmartBite so employees don’t have to go through the hassle of manually setting up logistics and working with numerous vendors to create variety.

Gabriele Fadda, CEO and co-founder of SmartBite, believes that this new service will help reduce man-hours required and manage costs regardless of whether a customer is an SME or corporate with thousands of employees.

SmartBite’s user platform. / Image Credit: SmartBite

“We are increasing the bulk of our logistics from delivering meals of 20 pax to almost 1,000 pax on a single trip,” he said, adding, “Not only does it provide stable sales for our restaurant partners, but this expansion of corporate offerings also provides a one-stop solution for companies and their employees to get great food delivered affordably and conveniently right to their office.”

As a part of employee benefit programmes, SmartBite will also work with HR departments to offer a daily allowance on the platform as it believes food is one of the top perks that corporate employees value.

Not Your Average Food Delivery Service

Since its establishment in 2016, SmartBite has been operating its AI-powered platform that curates a rotating daily selection of meals based on key data points like past purchase behaviour and market trends.

Their ordering and delivery process was also simplified with no minimum order requirements or delivery fees charged.

“Since the inception of SmartBite, we grew to better understand both the psychology of a corporate employee in the business districts as well as unit economics of food delivery,” Gabriele said.

He went on to say, “These lessons learned have definitely helped us fine-tune our business model and we are now achieving a daily average gross profit margin of 15% to 20%.”

Rather than operating on the model of on-demand and point-to-point food delivery, the foodtech startup instead delivers a curated list of meals on a fixed time-slot.

SmartBite’s riders. / Image Credit: SmartBite

By doing this, SmartBite is able to save significantly on logistical costs and time during peak hours as while the deliveries are more complicated and heavier to complete, the startup is able to reduce the number of trips made per day.

Since meals are delivered on a fixed time-slot, its F&B partners are also able to prepare meals in advance, thus eliminating unpredictability in inventory management.

SmartBite’s machine learning and AI is also able to provide the restaurants with data that suggests how to prepare certain meals based on feedback from customers.

Growing Numbers

Earlier this year, SmartBite shared that they had an active base of 20,000 users and have served over 3,900 offices with an average of 1,200 meals delivered daily during peak hours.

Their revenue also jumped up by 250% since the first half of 2017, and they’re expected to experience 70% to 100% growth this year.

“We are on track to double up on the sales of last year and the final sales of this year is going to be anything between USD800,000 to USD1 million, so we are finally touching the 7-digits total sales,” Gabriele said.

The startup is also looking to expand its services to other major cities in Southeast Asia like Singapore or Manila in mid-2020.

  • You can read more about SmartBite here.

Featured Image Credit: SmartBite

 

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