Nigerian food-tech platform Orda announced has raised a $3.4 million seed round to further digitize food businesses across the continent.
Orda, which provides a cloud-based restaurant operating system was founded by Guy Futi, Fikayo Akinwale, Mark Edomwande, Kunle Ogungbamila, and Namir El-Khouri in 2020. Its vision is to help small-sized African restaurants optimize their business and achieve sustainable growth.
Since its first fundraising announcement in January, Orda has grown its customer base to more than 600 restaurants across Nigeria and Kenya and is now processing over 500% more weekly orders for its customers. This growth, the company says, is due to an obsession with helping small and medium-sized restaurants run their businesses better.
Small independent restaurants are the soul of Africa’s food service industry, representing the largest segment of the $50 billion industry. However, these restaurants have had limited access to technology solutions tailored to their needs.
“From day one, Orda has been focused on building solutions for small and medium-sized restaurants. These businesses operate with slim profit margins and the power of Orda’s software and financial solutions can catapult their business. Our goal is to provide end-to-end solutions that help them optimize their operations so they become more prosperous.” Guy Futi, Orda’s CEO and co-founder said.
Before Orda, managers at these small restaurants, who often double as cooks, spent as many as four hours a day doing manual reconciliation, inventory management, and other administrative tasks. Now, through its products, Orda is enabling many African restaurants to optimize their business operations and scale distribution. Its array of products and services includes kitchen display systems, order and inventory management, integrations with the leading food aggregators (e.g. Glovo, Bolt Food, Chowdeck, Jise, Wabi2b, etc), accounting software, microsites, mobile apps and—soon to come—lending. Even better, when restaurants use these products, Orda provides them with advanced business analytics that informs them of customer behaviour, which in turn helps with inventory optimization and loss prevention.
Building solutions for African restaurants has required certain considerations specific to the region. For example, despite being a primarily cloud-based solution, Orda’s application works offline allowing restaurants to continue to log data even when internet access is unavailable — the data syncs with the cloud application when the restaurant is back online. The cloud operating software has also been built to have maximum functionality even when there is spotty internet service.
Following the progress in the last 12 months, Orda believes it has hit product-market fit, evidenced by the rapid rate of adoption, rising referrals, and increasing ease of onboarding new restaurants. ”We have a huge backlog of restaurants to onboard and we’re confident of reaching 1,000 active restaurants within the next three months. Our vendors love our solution and we do a good job of listening to feedback and incorporating that into the new features we roll out. We do our very best to always center the restaurant’s experience at the heart of our operations,” said Afua Ahwoi, Head of Operations at Orda.
With the recently completed fundraise, Orda has vertical expansion in sight, as it looks to improve its payments, credit and lending solutions, helping customers unlock even more value from their businesses.
“Focusing solely on restaurants has given us deeper insights into how they are run and what their financial behavior is. We believe we can accurately predict when a restaurant needs a cash injection or a small loan and are looking to work with partners who can provide those services,” said Futi.
The seed round was co-led by Quona Capital and FinTech Collective with participation from institutional investors including Far Out Ventures and Outside VC, angels Doneci Kone and Julian Shapiro, and follow-on investment from Norrsken Foundation, Lofty Inc Capital and Enza Capital. Following its previous raise of $1.1 million, the current round brings Orda’s total funds raised to $4.5 million.