Malaysia’s Startup, Smartbite Raises RM0.5 Million Through Crowdfunding Platform
Malaysia’s AI-based food delivery startup SmartBite has recently raised half a million Malaysian ringgit approximately via a successful equity crowdfunding campaign on the pitchIN platform. This is one of the rate instances that a startup has utilized a crowdfunding platform successfully.
Cumulatively, a total investment of over US$700,000 for the foodtech company, which previously raised around US$300,000 from two series of funding alongside strategic investment from Magna Capital, Rhumbus Food Holdings, Eric Ryd, Noodle Digital and angel investors from Asia and Europe.
SmartBite is a more unique take on the food delivery service industry. Rather than allow users to order anywhere and anytime, SmartBite only delivers to offices and has set delivery periods covering lunch and dinner.
The startup also only offers a limited choice of rotating meals daily, curated using artificial intelligence (AI). This only alleviates the frustration of choosing your meals during work, but also to allow their partner restaurants to more effectively prepare them. As such, SmartBite is able to do away with delivery fees and minimum orders.
Gabriele Fadda, CEO and co-founder of Smartbite commented in an interview with Thailand Startup News, “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. 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%,” “By leveraging on technology such as AI and machine learning, SmartBite is dedicated to simplifying how working professionals eat and helping them save time and money.”
These services are set to expand. According to the company, the fresh round of investments will be used to expand its corporate offerings in catering and employee benefit programs. The idea is to help companies manage their F&B requirements for events, meetings and other corporate activities. Rather than deal with multiple F&B suppliers and vendors, corporates only need to directly engage with SmartBite.
The catering solution will be leveraging on SmartBite’s existing technology to help manage large corporate food orders. The company intends to work with human resources departments by giving them access to the logistics and management tools within SmartBite, meant to simply the logistics of company-wide food-ordering as well as to aid working with multiple food vendors.
That’s not all. By working with HR departments, SmartBite also wants to offer a daily allowance on the platform as part of employee benefit programmes. In this case, food can serve as a literal carrot on the stick.
Fadda further commented,“With our success in growing our user base among the working crowd in Kuala Lumpur as well as the feedback and data we have gathered, we identified a gap in the market when it came to corporate solutions for food, We are increasing the bulk of our logistics from delivering meals of 20 pax to almost 1000 pax on a single trip. 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.”
The company is also planning to expand to countries like Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand by 2020 after the next round of its further fund raising.