North America’s largest cloud kitchen operator REEF Technology, has fully acquired UAE-based cloud kitchens platform iKcon, in a move that marks REEF’s first major transaction in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
Founded in 2019 by Khalid Baareh and Kareem Abughazaleh, iKcon operates the “kitchen-as-a-service” model and works with more than 100 regional and international brands like YO Sushi, German Doner Kebab and PINZA. It currently employs more than 800 people and has raised $25 million in VC funding.
The acquisition will help iKcon continue its regional expansion.
REEF transforms parking spaces into logistics hubs for cloud kitchens, has more than 5000 locations and has to date raised $1.5 billion from a roster of investors that include Mubadala and Softbank.
Interest in Mena’s cloud kitchen space has fired up, particularly after Kitopi’s $415 million Series C round led by Softbank.
REEF Technology Inc. (“REEF”), the largest operator of delivery kitchens, logistics, and proximity hubs in North America, today announced its entrance to the Middle East and North Africa region through the full acquisition of iKcon Restaurant LLC (Innovative Kitchen Concepts). The acquisition of iKcon marks REEF’s first major transaction in the MENA market and is part of its broader strategy toward global expansion.
“We are excited to welcome iKcon and its team members to REEF’s global proximity platform,” said Tommy Rosen, Head of Development at REEF. “The Middle East and North Africa are crucial markets in the rapidly evolving F&B and retail industries, and our acquisition of iKcon will position REEF to become a leader in the region.”
With a network of innovative kitchens in prime locations and over 800 employees, iKcon utilizes its modern facilities, smart technology solutions and highly qualified chefs and customer service teams to extend the reach of their portfolio of +100 well-known local, regional and international restaurant partners such as Just Salad, YO Sushi, Dunkin’, California Pizza Kitchen, German Doner Kebab and local hero brands such as PINZA, and Pizza Di Rocco.
“Since its inception, iKcon has consistently focused on operational excellence and building a unique customer-centric business model,” said Khalid Baareh, Co-Founder and CEO at iKcon. “The past three years have taught us the importance of pursuing our vision with commitment and passion, driven by a world-class team. Today, we are thrilled to join the REEF team and to continue our journey of bringing innovation to neighborhoods everywhere. REEF’s leadership in proximity will play a great role in accelerating our regional expansion plans. We are fully committed to driving the development of REEF in MENA.”
REEF, backed by a group of investors including Mubadala Capital, the asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, SoftBank Vision Fund 1, funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., UBS Asset Management and Target Global, focuses on transforming urban spaces into proximity hubs that create jobs and bring new goods, services, and experiences to neighborhoods across the globe.
REEF has already established a presence in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial center of Abu Dhabi, with plans to continue growing throughout the region.