Kitopi sacks 93 employees as diners head back to restaurants


Kitopi sacks 93 employees as diners head back to restaurants
  • Dubai-based cloud kitchen operator Kitopi, has laid off 10 per cent of its head officd workforce, amounting to 93 employees, according to a report from Arabian Business citing unnamed sources. 
  • Founded in 2018 by Mohamad Ballout, Saman Darkan, Bader Ataya and Andy Andreas, Kitopi offers a kitchen as a service model, helping restaurants to scale their business through cloud kitchens. 
  • Kitopi last raised $300 million in December 2021 in addition to its $715 million Series C round at a valuation of $1.5 billion.

Source: Arabian Business 

Dubai cloud kitchen platform Kitopi has sacked 93 of its head office staff, people familiar with the matter told Arabian Business, as the tech industry continues to slump.

“We’ve made the decision to streamline, simplify and focus our efforts across the business to be more effective and efficient. As a result, we have reduced our global workforce by 1.86 percent,” a Kitopi spokesperson told Arabian Business.

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Kitopi’s entire workforce numbers over 5,000, but the job cuts represent a 10 percent cut of head office staff.

“We are grateful to our colleagues who have helped get us to where we are today and we will be providing as much support as we can,” the spokesperson added.

Kitopi, which stands for Kitchen Utopia, was founded by Mohamad Ballout, Saman Darkan, Bader Ataya and Andy Andreas to help food brands scale and expand across borders with minimal capital expenditures and operating expenses by taking care of the entire operations process- from supply chain and staff training to food preparation, delivery, and customer experience.

In July 2021, Kitopi announced a $415 million Series C funding round, led by technology-focused investment fund, Softbank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2. This investment, which marked the fund’s first investment in a UAE-headquartered company, gave Kitopi its ‘Unicorn’ status, a term referencing a startup with a valuation of over $1 billion.

Founded in 2018, the tech unicorn partners with over 200 brands in the food and beverage industry, across five countries, operating 200-plus kitchens.

In January this year, Kitopi launched operations in Bahrain and Qatar, raising its market share to five countries across the GCC. Further expansion of its kitchens to Singapore and Malaysia in the books for the second half of 2022.

Kitopi follows the many MENA startup tech companies such as Swvl, crypto-backed Rain, and Turkish startup Getir among others, that sacked employees this year as they were forced to focus on profits instead of expansion plans after years of strong growth.

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