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M’sian food delivery startup raises RM2.4mil via ECF to further empower homepreneurs

Homecooked food delivery site Hometaste announced today that its equity crowdfunding (ECF) campaign on pitchIN was successfully closed. In total, it raised RM2,410,317 (US$576,000), far exceeding its minimum funding target of RM500,000.

4 years ago, the startup was launched by Aston Chua Yee Shen who had a simple goal: allow Malaysians to order food cooked by home chefs in their neighbourhoods.

It’s since grown to deliver homecooked food across the Klang Valley to a customer base of 15,000. Some other numbers the team shared included over 18,000 home recipes ordered on a monthly basis and more than 500,000 pax served since 2017.

Now, Aston has bigger ambitions. He wants Hometaste to incubate F&B homepreneurs into brands by providing them with the right tech and support, along with upgrades to the startup’s system.

Turning homepreneurs into F&B brands

“We believe that the rise of the homepreneur is a long-term trend that will continue to accelerate over the next decade. Whether it is by choice or by default, many more people are opening home-based businesses,” Aston stated in a press release.

Food delivery has seen increased adoption over the pandemic, and the technology is still improving. This is where he sees an opportunity for Hometaste to cement its place as a player to watch in the coming years.

Aston (left) and a brand under Hometaste’s incubation programme (right) / Image Credit: Hometaste

The ECF funds raised will go towards scaling the startup as a data-driven multi-brand cloud kitchen, Aston shared.

His goal is to open 70 cloud kitchens in Malaysia by 2023, and then eventually expand beyond our shores to other Southeast Asian countries.

To reach it, Hometaste will first launch 10 multi-brand kitchens by June 2022, all of which will utilise AI crew management and IoT stock management, if things go according to plan. Overall, this strategy will enable the startup and its brands to grow while keeping costs lower.

Currently, it already has 2 cloud kitchens, albeit filled with its own brands. Future cloud kitchens will house the incubated F&B homepreneurs and help them build their brands.

15x annual revenue growth over 4 years

According to the team, they believe they’re on the right track because their annual revenue has grown 15x over the past 4 years.

In 2020, they brought in about RM2.2 million in revenue. By the end of 2021, their projections portray an RM5 million revenue. With the company’s next plans, Aston foresees their revenue exceeding the RM10 million mark in 2022.

Cloud kitchens are definitely trending in the F&B space due to the lower costs and shorter startup time needed to kick off a brand, and we’ve covered several new ones over the course of the pandemic. Some examples include kEATchen and Air Kopitiam.

However, this concept has its cons too, such as the brands having little to no access to foot traffic and the high commissions that third-party delivery services take.

But Hometaste appears well-equipped to overcome these issues through building a strong online presence for its brands via its site and having its own delivery fleet.

The startup will have to scale reasonably without sacrificing the quality of its offerings and services not just for customers, but for merchants too.

If it can pull that off well, it has a solid chance of capturing a significant portion of Malaysia’s food delivery market share, particularly in the homecooked food sector.

  • You can learn more about Hometaste here.
  • You can read more F&B related content here.

Featured Image Credit: Aston Chua Yee Shen, founder and CEO of Hometaste

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