Orda, formerly known as StarKitchens, a Nigerian cloud-based point of sales for small, medium, and large-sized restaurants have today announced that it has closed a $1.1 million pre-seed round to scale its software across the continent.
The company, which describes itself as a ‘cloud-based restaurant operating system built for African chefs and food business owners,’ had its round led by the pan-African investor, LoftyInc Capital.
Other institutional investors include Techstars Boulder, Magic Fund, Hustle Fund, Norrsken Foundation, Microtraction, DFS Labs, Oxford Seed Fund, Enza Capital, Agrolay Advisors, and angel investors such as Buycoins’ Ire Aderinokun, Jesse Oviaand Ademola Adesina.
The Challenge that Orda is Addressing
The challenge of setting up management systems or using well-known point-of-sale providers affects thousands of smaller restaurants in Africa greatly, as they have to depend on offline methods such as pen and paper to produce receipts and make reconciliations of accounts.
This is one unique challenge that Orda is addressing with its cloud-based software. The food-tech startup wants these restaurants not to depend on manual ways of managing their businesses any longer.
“These are the restaurants that have been using paper and pen and then spend three to four hours on reconciliation. They don’t have access to software that does analytics and inventory management right off the gate. So, we decided to build cloud-based restaurant software tailor-made for Africa’s massive chefs and restaurant industry.”
Orda charges restaurants between $5 (~₦2,500) to $50 (~₦30,000) monthly to access its software. Orda’s full-stack and end-to-end approach “a result of constant building and iteration” according to the CTO, Fikayo Akinwale helps restaurants manage these processes online while integrating local payments, logistics, inventory management, and business analytics features.
“Orda was built from a near 18 months of a collaborative customer feedback loop. We listened to everything, from how African restaurants reconcile inventory, how customers pay, to how they handle logistics and more. We can confidently say that no one has done as much work as we have to build an end-to-end solution for our food business owners,” said the CTO in a statement.
Orda also provides access to a dashboard that allows restaurants to accept and process orders from food delivery services like Jumia Food, Glovo, Bolt Food, and in-store, website, social media channels like WhatsApp.
Orda claims no other company in its space has made similar integrations. These integrations, including an ePos solution that restaurants can operate in remote areas with little or no internet coverage, give Orda an edge in the market, said Futi.
Futi also remarked that the adoption from restaurants in markets where it operates (Nigeria and Kenya) has been “very seamless,” adding that the cloud-based software doubles its growth rate every three weeks. In a statement, Orda said its gross merchandise value (GMV) grows 15% week-on-week while processing up to 10,000 transactions weekly.
Orda is somewhat replicating the business model of companies like Toast that have noticed massive growth after launching fintech technology solutions. Last year, 80% of the U.S. company’s third-quarter revenue of $486.4 million came from payment processing and offering financial products; however, most of its total costs incurred came from the segment as well.
“We want to become like the Toast of Africa,” expressed the chief executive, adding that Orda would also double down on its white-label mobile applications (similar to Toast Takeout) for restaurants that leverage its cloud-based infrastructure to operate.
Futi, who founded the food tech startup with Akinwale, Mark Edomwande, Kunle Ogungbamila, and Namir El-Khouri in 2020, said with the new and subsequent funding, Orda is working on an expansion into South Africa by the end of this year.
Idris Ayo Bello, the Managing Partner of LoftyInc Capital said, “we loved investing in Orda because it is building the core digital infrastructure for restaurants across Africa. The team has done the hard work of figuring out the core problems that African restaurant owners are facing and is building a solution that can revolutionize the food business across the continent.”