Nigerian restaurant management platform Orda gets $1.1M, wants to be the Toast of Africa

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There has been a significant surge in both the scale and popularity of cloud-based point of sales systems for small, medium and large-sized restaurants. Currently valued at over $70 billion worldwide, the industry is predicted to reach $116 billion in the next four years, with incumbents like Toast and up-and-coming firms such as MarginEdge and Brazil’s Zak dominating it.

As is the case with most innovations, Africa is lagging in food technology. On the other hand, fewer startups are paying attention to the industry and positioning themselves to be among the top competitors when the market develops. Known initially as StarKitchens, it is a Nigerian company that fits this description. It is announcing today that it has raised a $1.1 million pre-seed round of funding to help it expand its software throughout Africa.

‘Cloud-based restaurant operating system created for African chefs and food industry owners,’ as the firm characterizes itself, received a $1.5 million investment from pan-African investor LoftyInc Capital, which led the round.

In addition to Techstars Boulder, Magic Fund, Hustle Fund, Norrsken Foundation, Microtraction, DFS Labs, Oxford Seed Fund (now known as Enza Capital), Agrolay Advisors, and other institutions, angel investors such as Buycoins’ Ire Aderinokun, Jesse Ovia, and Ademola Adesina have also invested in the company.

When it comes to producing receipts and making reconciliations, while large restaurants and restaurant chains can set up their management systems or utilize well-known point-of-sale providers, thousands of smaller restaurants in Africa rely on offline methods such as pen and paper.

This section of the African restaurant business constitutes Orda’s addressable market. Orda hopes that by using its cloud-based software, these enterprises will no longer rely on manual methods of managing their operations.

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In an interview with TechCrunch, Orda co-founder and CEO Guy Futi said that the company’s primary emphasis is on two types of restaurants: bukkas (local restaurants), which include tiny restaurants and large provides for chain restaurants.

“These are the establishments that have been utilizing paper and pen for the last many years and then spend three to four hours reconciling their accounts. Because they are starting from scratch, they do not have access to software that can do analytics and inventory management. To meet the needs of Africa’s large number of chefs and restaurant business, we decided to develop cloud-based restaurant software.”

For example, Jumia Food and Glovo let restaurants make online deliveries, while others, such as YC-backed Vendease, attempt to manage whole supply networks and supply chains in their own right. Orda’s full-stack and end-to-end solution — which, according to CTO Fikayo Akinwale, is the product of ongoing construction and iteration — allows restaurants to handle these procedures online while integrating local payments, logistics, inventory management, and business analytics capabilities.

“Orda was created as a result of over 18 months of collaborative consumer feedback loops,” says the founder. We listened to everything, including how African restaurants balance inventory, how customers pay, manage logistics, and other topics of interest. Nobody has made as much effort as we have to develop an end-to-end solution for our food company owners, and we can safely claim that no one else has done as much work as we have.” stated the CTO in a statement.

A dashboard is available to restaurants that utilize the management platform. It enables them to accept and process orders from meal delivery services such as Jumia Food, Glovo, Bolt Food, in-store, online, and social media channels such as WhatsApp.

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Orda argues that no other firm in its industry has implemented integrations of this kind. According to Futi, these connections, which include an ePos solution that allows restaurants to operate in distant places with little or no internet access, provide Orda a competitive advantage in the market.

Futi further said that the adoption of the cloud-based software by restaurants in the areas where it operates (Nigeria and Kenya) has been “extremely frictionless” and that the growth rate of the cloud-based software is doubling every three weeks. Orda claimed in a statement that its gross merchandise value (GMV) is growing at a rate of 15 percent week on week while processing up to 10,000 transactions per week on average.

Currently, Orda charges restaurants between $5 (2,500) and $50 (30,000) every month to use its software, depending on the size of the establishment. Orda’s CEO said that the company has concluded its pre-seed round and is working toward obtaining a seed round. The company plans to expand its financial offerings, particularly in loans, and enter the restaurant payment processing market.

With its business strategy, Orda is eerily similar to firms like Toast, which have seen explosive development after introducing finance technology solutions to the market. Last year, payment processing and the provision of financial goods accounted for 80 percent of the company’s third-quarter revenue of $486.4 million; nevertheless, payment processing and the provision of financial products accounted for most of its overall expenditures.

“We aim to become the Toast of Africa,” said the company’s chief executive, who also noted that Orda will expand its white-label mobile apps (similar to Toast Takeout) for restaurants that use the company’s cloud-based infrastructure to run their businesses.

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According to Futi, who formed the firm alongside Akinwale, Mark Edomwande, Kunle Ogungbamila, and Namir El-Khouri in 2020, Orda is expanding into South Africa this year the help of additional and subsequent finance, which will be announced soon.

Idris “We were excited about investing in Orda since it is establishing the basic digital infrastructure for restaurants throughout Africa,” said Ayo Bello, managing partner of lead investor LoftyInc Capital, of the deal. The team has put in the effort to identify the fundamental issues that African restaurant owners are dealing with, and they are now developing a solution that has the potential to transform the food industry throughout the continent.”

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