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Today Portuguese startup Kitch, who is building delivery-first kitchens to house a selection of the city’s favorite restaurants and most creative chefs, has announced today closing a €1 million pre-seed financing round.
Kitch was founded in 2019 by Rui Bento and Nuno Rodrigues, two former executives of Uber who launched the ridesharing and food delivery company in Portugal. The duo wants to enable everyone in the city to have dishes from their favorite restaurants at home, while allowing these restaurants to serve the city from delivery-first kitchens.
“Food delivery and takeaway are a growing part of our routines and will become even more prevalent in the context of the current pandemic. It’s easy, convenient, and there are more and more restaurants available. However, not everything is perfect. Many of our favorite restaurants still don’t make it to our dining tables. And most restaurants haven’t conceived their food to travel across town inside a backpack, on a motorbike”, said Rui Bento, co-founder, and CEO at Kitch.
It’s exactly here that Kitch comes in. “We’re a kitchen. We are not a delivery app, and we are not a restaurant. We’re a kitchen that is distributed all over town and that houses the most exciting restaurants and the most creative chefs. A kitchen where everything is designed from scratch to order food and eat it at home. A kitchen that doesn’t want to leave a trail behind its deliveries: be it by reducing non-reusable plastic packaging, implementing technology-based solutions to reduce food waste, or improving the energy efficiency of food production and delivery”, Rui Bento concludes.
The fresh round was led by Seedcamp and Mustard Seed MAZE. It also included the participation of Groupe Keys Asset Management through a fund advised by its portfolio management company Keys REIM, which will also act as a real estate investment partner for Kitch. The round additionally attracted a number of individual investors, including João Cepeda (Founder and President at Time Out Market), Cleo Sham (COO at Spotahome), and Antonio Costanzo (Founder and CEO at EMMAC Life Sciences).
Sia Houchangnia, Partner at Seedcamp, noted “the way people eat is changing, fast, and Kitch provides the infrastructure that will allow restaurants to adapt and thrive in this new environment while at the same time building a brand that will be recognized for best-in-class operations. There is a massive opportunity here to be one of the few businesses that define the future of food which is an extremely complex market to navigate. Therefore, it is essential to have an execution driven team that knows the space inside out. With Rui and Nuno, we know we have found one. They are exceptional, execution-driven founders, and what they’ve achieved in only a few months reinforce our belief that they can expand fast and be one of the few winners in this highly competitive market.”
In addition to the two co-founders, Kitch’s board of directors now includes Orson Stadler, Senior Principal at Mustard Seed MAZE, a Lisbon-based impact fund that invests across Europe. Stadler stated: “We are thrilled to be partnering with entrepreneurs of the caliber of Rui and Nuno, and believe that the preference of consumers for food delivery and takeaway will continue to accelerate and compound. However, we are also aware that this trend can come at a cost to the environment, and this is why we are excited to support Kitch on their mission to provide the food that both consumers and the planet deserve through initiatives such as removing plastic, improving energy efficiency and enhancing delivery processes amongst others”.
The capital raised in this investment round will allow Kitch to start developing and scaling its operations from Lisbon, connecting the city to its favorite restaurants through meals made for delivery, offering restaurants new avenues to develop their businesses in a delicate economic environment, and taking a first step to making food delivery more sustainable.