elmenus, a food and beverages startup in Egypt, announces it has received investment from the former CEO of global food-ordering firm, Just Eat – David Buttress – who also joins its Board of Directors.
elmenus started its business by building a detailed directory providing users with menus and information about restaurants in the country, while growing a community of followers who shared images and reviews. From the huge following it gathered of users and restaurants, the online company was launched for ordering in late 2018.
The Food and Beverages business has since seen success in Egypt’s underserved online ordering market. elmenus, states in the press statement that, it has grown its revenue by 300%, achieved a significant market share, with less than $10 million in funding. Investments from UAE-based Global Ventures and Algebra Ventures to the tune of US$8M Series B round in 2020, were of particular mention.
The new investor of Elmenus, David Buttress
He is described as having extensive entrepreneurial and investment background since his days with Just Eat in 2006 where he launched the UK business. Helping make global acquisitions and investments including the likes of MenuLog (Australia) for $855M and a majority stake in iFood (Brazil).
With him in a decade, Just Eat UK moved from a simple startup to becoming a large European tech IPO. He is currently a Venture Partner at 83 North, and has several successful startups in his portfolio.
And in a year and a half time, elmenus plans to scale its offering and expand its market share, with 4,000 new drivers to be recruited, enrich its social and personalized dish discovery experience, and empower restaurants to be stronger partners.
Amir Allam, CEO of elmenus, appreciating the effort said,
“As we aim to become the go-to food app for all dining decisions, and a partner of choice to restaurants to help them solve their scaling challenges in the MENA region, I believe David’s insights and exceptional record will play a vital role in accelerating our growth and guiding elmenus in acquiring a significant share of the market. We are very excited to be working with an industry veteran like David. His belief in our vision is a grand testament to us.”
Accoring to David Buttress who also commented on the investment,
“elmenus’ exponential growth this past year has been quite remarkable. It has been owning the food discovery approach, making it the stronger partner to restaurants as it provides them with more than just online ordering services.
Concluding that, while the growth of elmenus has tripled in 2020 alone, in light of the COVID-19 challenges and more restaurants outsourced their delivering operations, the company, David expects should grow ten (10) times in 2021. He thinks this is an exciting time in the company’s evolution.
OKO: Insurtech Startup Raises US$1.2M to bring Innovative Insurance to Smallholder Farmers Across Africa
Insurtech start-up, OKO, that provides inclusive agricultural insurance to secure farmers’ income across Africa, has closed a seed investment of $1.2 million. The round was led by Newfund and ResiliAnce. Mercy Corps Venture, Techstars, ImpactAssets and RaSa also participated in the round.
The startup which currently operates in Mali and Uganda uses satellite data and mobile payments to create automated insurance products for farmers whose fields are affected adversely by weather events — primarily droughts and floods. With the new funding, OKO aims to strengthen its presence in Mali and Uganda and expand its offerings to more African markets, starting with Ivory Coast.
According to the founder of OKO, Simon Schwall, in a press statement said,
Simon also said they were using technology to solve this issue and secure the income of those farmers.
The company already has approximately 7,000 paying customers in Mali and compensated more than 1,000 farmers last year, who were affected by floods. OKO’s customers typically grow maize, cotton, sesame or millet. It also works with agro-industries to help them with their sustainability goals and secure their relationships with suppliers. Successful pilots were completed with ABInBev and Touton in Uganda.
This convinced Augustin Sayer, partner at Newfund, to support OKO:
“We believe recent advancement in iOT and data availability will lead to the rise of parametric insurance in Africa for the benefit of the local populations. Simon and his team have built solid bases in Mali from which OKO can now expand in new countries and offer new insurance products.”
OKO takes pride in being the most inclusive crop insurance available. All farmers need to connect to OKO is a phone (no smartphone required): they can dial a short code to obtain more information and pay through mobile money services. To achieve this level of accessibility, the company partners with mobile operators.
OKO, for Aisha Touré, the CEO of Orange Money in Mali, has taken full benefit of the Orange Money platform to provide a service that is both innovative and inclusive.
Daniel Block from Mercy Corps Ventures added,
“While other micro-insurance for farmers exist, we were impressed by OKO’s ability to partner with a pan-African operator like Orange and establish a direct consumer link, which allows for an exciting opportunity to drive deeper user engagement and expand to a suite of insurance products for rural farmers in the future.”
The service offered by OKO is supported by regulators and has won both the Fintech Showcase Award by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, representing financial regulators of emerging countries, and the SME award from ITU, the telecommunication governing body.
When asked about the next challenges for OKO, Simon Schwall’s answer is clear:
“We need to find more partners who can bring our product to farmers, be it NGOs, agro-industrial players, mobile operators or governmental programmes. We proved that our solution is working and answers a strong need. Now we need to scale”
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