Malaysia’s Dahmakan is in advanced talks to raise a fresh round of funding that is likely to value the food delivery startup at over $40 million, DealStreetAsia has learnt.
So far, Dahmakan has received over $10 million in funding from leading investors in Asia, Europe, and the Silicon Valley.
It is the first Malaysian startup to be backed by Y Combinator, the American seed accelerator that invests in select startups in two batches every year. Its other investors include Partech Ventures, Texas Atlantic Capital, and Swiss family office Atami Capital, among others.
In an exclusive interaction with DealStreetAsia, Dahmakan co-founder and CEO Jonathan Weins laid out the startup’s aggressive expansion plans going ahead. This is even as he declined to comment on the current fundraising attempt.
To begin with, the startup plans to foray into the Indonesian market in the fourth quarter of 2019, following which it plans to tap other Asian countries.
“Our plan is to next launch in Indonesia, Singapore and then in Vietnam. Also, we are accelerating the launch in other Malaysian cities such as Penang,” said Weins.
Dahmakan, established in 2015 in Kuala Lampur, aims to make food delivery affordable and convenient to its customers through the use of artificial intelligence in logistics and cooking automation.
The startup tosses up over 300 different dishes on a daily basis thus enabling its customers to order through their mobile app or web and accordingly get the delivery in their offices or homes.
The company, that has distinguished itself from other food startups since it cooks the dishes itself, has an in-house team of chefs from different five-star hotels such as Shangri-La in Malaysia, Dubai’s Jumeirah, the Ritz in London, besides other restaurants in Kuala Lampur.
These chefs primarily design meals for the purpose of delivery, which is the company’s main focus, and help cut down on costs that traditional restaurants have to incur with regard to fancy decors and waiter cost, among others. All these savings are passed on to customers to make great food delivery affordable on a daily basis.
According to the company, Dahmakan has built a cloud kitchen system that helps leverage on an infrastructure of satellite kitchens combined with central kitchens. In this way, they fundamentally redefine the cost structure and remove a lot of inefficiencies that come with legacy restaurants. “We recently did a pricing comparison that showed that for many similar dishes, customers save between 30-55 per cent while ordering from Dahamakan or one of our brands than in comparison to a restaurant with the same quality and including delivery,” said Weins.
In Malaysia’s Klang Valley, Dahmakan currently claims to be matching the number of deliveries Dominoes is doing on a daily basis and has even doubled the number of meals served since January 2019.
Cloud kitchens refer to fully-equipped shared spaces for restaurants that largely operate as takeaway outlets with no dine-in facility. Companies across Asia are increasingly adopting the model as it has the potential to spruce up their profit margin significantly per order. Investors too seem to be evincing interest in picking up stakes in them.
Recently, Indonesia’s ride-hailing behemoth GOJEK made headlines for investing as much as $5 million in an Indian cloud kitchen company called Rebel Foods. Meanwhile, Intudo Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on Indonesia, is said to be in advanced talks to invest in local catering business Yummy Corp.