Food ordering and delivery apps around the world have seen millions of dollars in investment being poured into them lately, including the likes of UberEats, FoodPanda.
A Botswana startup, Myfoodness, recently clinched a successful seed round of investment. Within two weeks of opening the seed round, there was an overwhelming amount of investor interest and six European investors grabbed the shares.
Said app developer, Boi Rasmussen: “We are quite pleased (with) the success of the seed investment round. The overwhelming interest gave us an opportunity to strategically pick our investors. Our six investors are high tech experts, most with award winning tech products across Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway.
“More than anything, what I’m most pleased about is the deep and varied tech expertise they bring into our company beyond just the money. They are all super excited about our company and journey, about Botswana in general and our immediate planned expansion markets in Africa. It’s really exciting, and when your investors tell you they are 120% behind you, it is quite motivating to an entrepreneur.”
While the company did not publicly disclose the seed round amount, its current valuation is estimated to a few million pula (BWP) even before the planned launch date of January 26, 2018.
This is a first for Botswana.
Rasmussen continued: “Valuation is good. But at the end of the day, the product-market-fit needs to be there and we need to see good traction in the form of transactions. So right now we are focused on relentlessly pursuing our goals for the product.”
Online food ordering and delivery platforms are expanding choice and convenience for consumers around the world. They allow consumers to order from a variety of restaurants with a single tap on their phones. The race to invest in such platforms is on. For example, elsewhere in the world, DeliveryHero and Foodpanda both attracted 100 million euros in investment.
“I can’t emphasise enough that the true value of our offer as a company is data,” Rasmussen enthused. “Beyond the convenience of food ordering and delivery, we are truly a high tech and data company. I was recently lucky enough to sit right across from Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc (Google), and he said: ‘If you’re not using machine learning and data, your competitor is beating you.’
“This is the true value of what we offer to our restaurant partners and consumers. Whether it’s personalised experiences or whatever else, data offers opportunities for companies to out-compete their competitors, innovate with the right product-market-fit and so much more.”
Tech platforms such as Myfoodness contribute to Botswana’s economic diversification efforts and employment creation. The company, before launch, has already created employment for 10 people in Botswana, three people across Africa and three across Europe.