Indian cloud kitchen company Rebel Foods—which turned into a unicorn earlier this month—is ramping up its presence in Southeast Asia through its partnership with food and grocery delivery platform Foodpanda.
Rebel Foods entered into a five-year deal with Foodpanda in December 2019 to expand its operations overseas. Together, the two companies took four Rebel brands to six Asian markets. However, after the COVID-19 healthcare crisis hit the world in early 2020, its plans were disrupted.
Founded in 2011, Rebel Foods is one of the leading cloud kitchen companies in India. Cloud kitchens are essentially delivery-only kitchens that are shared among multiple online restaurants. Rebel Foods operates a chain of 450 cloud kitchens that run 4,000-plus internet-only restaurants across ten countries, including the UAE, the UK, and Indonesia. It also owns 45 food brands like Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, Ovenstory Pizza, Mandarin Oak, and SLAY Coffee.
While it has its own app, it also works with local food ordering and delivery giants Swiggy and Zomato to generate a majority of its demand. It earns money by charging a commission on food orders from these internet-only restaurants, as well as subscription fees for the physical space it provides to them.
Foodpanda, a nine-year-old Singapore-based firm that was acquired by German food delivery service Delivery Hero in 2016, currently has over 115,000 restaurant partners across more than 400 cities across 12 Asian markets—Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Japan.
Under the Rebel-Foodpanda partnership, Foodpanda’s restaurant partners can plug-and-play Rebel Foods brands and earn additional revenue. Aside from bringing its in-house brands to countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Bangladesh, Rebel Foods on Thursday said it will jointly create brands with Foodpanda for several Asian markets. The aim is to launch more than ten online food brands through 2,000 delivery-only restaurant outlets across Asia.
“This Foodpanda-Rebel Foods partnership introduces a new digital-first F&B format in Asia. Foodpanda is always seeking new, innovative ways to change the way F&B businesses operate in a hyper-digitalized economy. We want to push our ecosystem further into the future,” said Pedram Assadi, COO of Foodpanda, in a statement. “Most importantly, these virtual brands will give our restaurant partners, especially SMEs, new opportunities to earn additional revenue.”
Reportedly, Rebel Foods is preparing for its public listing over the next 18–24 months. Having recently raised USD 175 million in a Series F round led by Qatar Investment Authority, the company is now focusing on fuelling its growth by creating more in-house food brands and expanding its operations internationally.