Dubai-founded cloud kitchen Kitopi is forging ahead with its expansion, announcing its first kitchens in Qatar and Bahrain, leaving Oman as the only country in the GCC in which it is now not present.
The company said kitchens in both Qatar and Bahrain would launch in January, and with plans to expand eastwards, launching further units in Singapore and Malaysia in the second half of 2022.
Kitopi, derived from the words Kitchen Utopia, was founded on a restaurant food delivery only model, and operates more than 80 smart kitchens, also known as cloud kitchens. It recently launched dine in and meal plan concepts and employs more than 3,500 people and works with 200 partner brands.
The food tech company is powered by its Smart Kitchen Operating System (SKOS) - an in-house suite of applications which it says has enabled it to significantly increase its order volume while reducing kitchen preparation time by 40 percent.
Kitopi has expanded rapidly since its in 2018, closing a $415 million Series C funding round in July 2021, achieving ‘Unicorn’ status. It also announced in November that it would invest $1 billion in F&B brands as part of its expansion.
Mohamed Ballout, co-founder and CEO of Kitopi, said: “As we expand our global reach, we are setting our sights on creating possibilities in the F&B and food technology space beyond what we know as possible today, and we are not looking back.”
Kitopi is one of a number of cloud kitchen companies focusing on GCC expansion in 2022, along with Dubai-based Kaykroo and Sweetheart Kitchen, and Kuwait’s KLC Virtual Restaurants.
(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)
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