French startup Not So Dark has raised an $80 million Series B funding round led by Kharis Capital and Verlinvest, with Convivialité Ventures also participating. The startup has launched digital food delivery brands that you can find in food delivery apps.
While Not So Dark started with a network of dark kitchens, the company abandoned this business model shortly after raising its Series A round. Operating dark kitchens requires a ton of capital and can create issues in some neighborhoods.
Instead, the company is betting on existing restaurants. In addition to their own menu, these partners can start cooking different food that is specifically designed for food delivery platforms.
In other words, restaurants can get additional revenue by making sure their kitchen staff are always busy cooking something — it can be for restaurant customers or for at-home customers looking for something different.
Some of Not So Dark’s brands include Vegedal, Como Kitchen, Coquillettes, JFK Burgers, Fat Panda, Gaïa Pita and Walida. The startup designs the recipes and sources the ingredients so that restaurants only have to cook and fulfill the orders.
Customers can find these restaurants on existing food delivery platforms, such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Currently, Not So Dark operates in France and Belgium across 100 cities. The startup takes a cut on revenue like a traditional restaurant franchise.
And because there are plenty of Not So Dark partners, you get all the benefits of a food franchise. Not So Dark can run ad campaigns that benefit everyone. The startup can also optimize the listings on Uber Eats and Deliveroo by adjusting prices in real time depending on competitors — it’s something that can be time-consuming for a traditional restaurant.
Founded by Clément Benoit and Alexandre Haggai, Not So Dark currently employs 150 people. With today’s funding round, the company wants to build the biggest restaurant in the world that doesn’t have a kitchen — a sort of virtual franchise.