The acquisition marks a brave first investment in MENA by North America’s biggest cloud kitchen operator, REEF.
North America’s biggest cloud kitchen operator, REEF Technology, has just acquired the UAE-based cloud kitchen platform iKcon. The move marks REEF’s first major transaction in the MENA region.
iKcon, founded in 2019 by Khalid Baareh and Kareem Abughazaleh, utilises the ‘kitchen-as-a-service’ model. Working with over 100 regional and international brands like YO Sushi, German Doner Kebab and PINZA, the startup currently has over 800 employees and has raised $25 million in venture capital funding.
REEF, on the other hand, transforms parking spaces into logistics hubs for cloud kitchens. It has more than 5,000 locations and has raised a stunning total of $1.5 billion from investors including Mubadala and Softbank.
“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.”
REEF’s acquisition of iKcon is just one example of the growing interest in the Middle East’s cloud kitchen ecosystem, which has steadily grown in size with Kitopi’s $415 million Series C round led by Softbank being the latest example.