Former Uber execs launch Virtual Kitchen

Former Uber execs launch Virtual Kitchen

Virtual Kitche Founders Andro Randonich, Ken Chong, Matt Sawchuck, announced that the company has raised $17 million in funding.

Virtual Kitchen Co, a food tech and logistics company founded by former Uber Executives that focuses on building delivery-optimized kitchens, has raised $15 million in a Series A financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Base10 Partners.

The company provides a turnkey solution to restaurants, combining space, operations and tech that allows restaurants to increase their delivery presence with minimal costs, according to a company press release.

“We’re seeing a ton of innovation happening rapidly in this space right now. The Virtual Kitchen team has the perfect blend of expertise to build this startup, and we couldn’t be more excited to start our journey with them,” Chen said in the release. 

With multiple delivery-optimized kitchens already in San Francisco, the company will open another dozen Bay Area facilities in the next six months. Early restaurant partners include local favorites such as DOSA, Big Chef Tom’s Belly Burgers and Poki Time.

“For a few years now we’ve seen customers opting for more casual dining and the convenience of delivery,” Anjan Mitra, DOSA owner and executive chef, said in the release. “Combined with rising costs, labor shortages, and changes in the business climate, we have had to evolve DOSA’s business model away from full-service restaurants.

As Mitra’s team explored various options, it found that Virtual Kitchen was the only partner that had a feasible solution for its customers while also making financial sense.

“They will seamlessly give us the reach across the Bay Area, without the risky financial investment and operational costs required by other dark kitchen providers,” Mitra said in the release. 

Other investors include Rappi co-founder Sebastian Mejia, former Yelp SVP of engingering Michael Stoppelman, Opendoor co-founder JD Ross and Maple VC founder Andre Charoo. Andrew Chen from A16z and Adeyemi Ajao from Base10 are on the board.

The company has raised $17 million to date and will use the funding to build new facilities, R&D and hiring.

Virtual Kitchen Co was founded by Ken Chong, Matt Sawchuk and Andro Radonich. Chong formerly led Marketplace product teams at Uber, developing it’s next-gen network pricing, marketplace health and real-time pricing systems. Sawchuk spent six years at Uber developing a number of large business lines including UberX and UberEATS in San Francisco. Andro Radonich built one of the largest high-end corporate catering businesses in the Bay Area over the past decade, according to the release

“We were surprised to see our favorite restaurants growing rapidly on Uber Eats, but when we talked to them, they told us bottom-line wasn’t growing with the current brick and mortar setup,” Ken Chong, co-founder and CEO said in the release. “Consumers love the convenience of food delivery apps, and demand keeps growing. We want to equip food entrepreneurs with the best platform to take advantage of the food delivery economy.”



Topics: Mobile Apps, Mobile Payments, Restaurants, Venture Capital

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