Foodics: The Region’s Most Prominent Foodtech-Meets-Fintech Player

Foodics: The Region’s Most Prominent Foodtech-Meets-Fintech Player

By Nazmia Nassereddine, 21 August 2023

Nearly A Decade

Nine years. That’s how long one of Saudi’s most prominent Fintech-meets-Foodtech startups has been operating out of the Kingdom, offering point of sale (POS) and restaurant management platform and payment systems that caters to F&B establishments. Foodics partners with everyone from the traditional dine-in restaurant, café, quick-serve or fast-food restaurants, bakeries, food trucks, cloud kitchens, and even non-food micro-retailers. Nine years and US $198 million+ in fundraising later, Foodics is a well-known brand born out of Saudi Arabia’s startup ecosystem. The foodtech x fintech also ranks 3rd overall, based on the total amount fundraised by a Saudi startup. 

Fintech Meets Foodtech

Foodics is well-positioned working at the cross-section of two indelible and high-growth segments: Fintech and Foodtech. The two Saudi startups that have raised more than Foodics thus far, Tamara and STCpay, are both Fintech players; and the Kingdom’s only unicorn to date, Jahez, is a q-commerce food delivery player that successfully IPO in 2022. Just this past July 2023, Germany's food delivery conglomerate Delivery Hero completed its acquisition of HungerStation, Saudi's other local food delivery giant, for US $298 million.

Infographic: Foodics Growth Story in Numbers (2014-2023)


Foodics is at the forefront of F&B digital and payment solutions in the region, operating in over 35 countries. When you ask Omar Knio, Foodics’ Marketing Director, he says, “we’re a restaurant management solution with payments at the heart of our business.” Their payment solutions combine both hardware and software solutions, and include self-ordering and payment kiosks, mobile payments such as mobile-POS, and split pay – allowing for faster checkouts and faster table turnovers.

Ahmad Al-Zaini, Foodics Co-founder and CEO commented last year in April 2022 when the startup closed its US $170 million Series C funding round that Foodics had come a long way since their early days. “We are proud to have been able to secure capital from premium international tech investors to further power our journey,” he had said. “This latest investment will enable us to accelerate the development of our end-to-end tech stack ecosystem to better support the F&B entrepreneurs and owners who make up the majority of our client community.” Fifteen months after those words were spoken, it seems that Foodics has indeed been working to support their clients in a variety of new ways.

Related Spotlight: FOODICS: the SaaS Powering Cloud Kitchens

Microlending & Foodics Capital

Since its inception in 2014, Foodics has successfully processed over 6 billion orders through their platform and has been focused on significant regional expansion plans and doubling-down on becoming “the best partner we can be to our F&B clientele,” says Knio. He is referring to Foodics’ fintech and micro-lending products which were officially relaunched in pilot mode this past month. Foodics Capital is a micro-lending platform that allows Foodics’ F&B clients to apply for anywhere between 50,000 Riyals to 2 million Riyals in financing. 


Infographic: Top 10 Funded KSA-Born Startups to Date + Honourable Mentions


When asked why Foodics Capital is so important, Knio stressed that Foodics is striving to become a real business partner for its clients. “Our clients’ success, is our success,” he says. “It's no secret that the restaurant industry is one of the toughest businesses to run, especially in a post-pandemic market. Restaurants are vulnerable, and it’s an industry where restaurant owners are constantly having to worry about cashflow.” Foodics Capital provides an opportunity for those F&B businesses that wish to grow, but don’t have access to capital to do so – to give them a leg-up. "Our payments data off of our Foodics restaurant management system give us unique insights into our customers’ revenues, cash flow, and credit history, and our proprietary algorithms help us to assess risk much more effectively and efficiently compared to traditional banks,” he says.

Foodics says it has always been customer-obsessed, and when you’re customer-obsessed you realize how big an issue cashflow is for restaurant and F&B operators. That’s why Foodics helps to expedite their customers’ cash flow cycles by having their payment solutions settle payments twice per day, unlike some fintech players that only settle payments a few times per week. The same thoughtfulness was put forward in designing Foodics Capital, alongside their Capital partners, Tenmia. Foodics Capital decided to streamline all processes where possible, and work to remove all repayment plan stress from their customer’s shoulders. They have done this by simply automating payments, by paying itself back through the Foodics Restaurant Management platform. In essence, every time the restaurant completes a sale, Foodics deducts a small percentage from every payment until the loan is paid back in full. 

Once the pilot testing amongst a select group of Saudi customers is completed, Foodics Capital intends to go live to the broader Saudi public in October 2023. “We’re going to do something massive to help Saudi F&B businesses finance themselves," says Foodics COO, Djamel Mohand. 


Storefront Assistance

Foodics is also launching various new features and solutions this year, off the back of its US $170 million Series C funding closed in 2022. The first of which is Foodics One, which targets retailers through an innovative handheld device that simultaneously acts as a payment terminal, cashier, and printer. It is being presented to Foodics’ customers under the banner: "One Device is All You Need.” The brilliance of Foodics One lies in its versatility as it eases the retail experience, especially for micro and small service businesses. The simplicity of having everything in one device significantly diminishes the likelihood of operational errors, providing a seamless experience for staff, increasing productivity, and leaving clients more satisfied. 

Foodics One also integrates with various Foodics partner apps for inventory management, accounting, and business intelligence. Through the intuitive and comprehensive dashboard, one can manage products, set prices, issue reports, and keep track of your business affairs, all from the comfort of your device. Foodics One is the ultimate multifunctional device that not only simplifies sales operations but also enhances the checkout experience, provides quick payment settlements, and ensures regulatory compliance. The future of retail is here, and it fits right in the palm of your hand. 

Foodics Online is another new product Foodics is launching this year. Foodics Online allows restaurant and café owners to run an online store through their own website. Foodics says all that's required is filling-out an application which gets approved in record time. The idea is that F&B establishments yet to have an online presence will be receiving orders online in no time, expanding their service reach beyond their local vicinity. Foodics Online isn't just about sales, though; it's about strategic growth. Equipped with a diverse range of advanced marketing tools, restaurants can highlight profitable items, launch loyalty programs, target different customer segments, and even broadcast attractive discounts. 


Infographic: Restaurant Management Software VC Deal Activity


Foodics Online also revolutionizes the dine-in experience. The platform's QR code feature enables customers to order directly from their tables using their phones, automatically relaying the order, table number, and branch source to kitchen staff. By being a commission-free platform, Foodics Online saves restaurants money on every order compared to third-party aggregator apps. Additionally, the platform's seamless integration with Foodics’ POS eliminates third-party errors to track every order's status efficiently. The platform also enables marketing teams to understand their customers better, collecting data to help target them effectively with tailored offers and well-crafted campaigns. Foodics says that “Foodics Online is the friend every restaurant needs nowadays, as an online ordering system powered by centralized tools to maximize profits. It provides complete control over takeout and delivery orders from a single screen on the POS.” 

In the last decade, VC investments in Restaurant Management Software have seen an impressive upswing, reflecting a growing global interest in this sector. This trend is a testament to the transformative impact these platforms have on the F&B industry, bringing digitization, efficiency, and innovation to the forefront. Having raised over $198 million in funding over the past nine years places Foodics squarely within the top 10 global restaurant management software companies, by fundraising. There are over 2,600 companies globally in the restaurant SaaS space, of which over 450 have been funded with a collective US $6.6 billion of investment. Investors are expecting some major winners to come out of this industry, and Foodics’ can count itself among a small group of under 100 companies across the globe that have raised beyond a Series A funding round. 

The surge in VC investments globally not only demonstrates the burgeoning potential of the Foodtech-Fintech intersection but also underscores Foodics' prominence and growth potential in this dynamic landscape. 

Foodics recently partnered with virtual drive-through startup, n.go which has been a pioneer in the field. n.go offers an innovative platform that enables customers to order from their favorite F&B brands and pay directly through the app, receiving their orders seamlessly without the need to exit their vehicles. Together, they aim to streamline the customer experience, reduce manual labor for restaurants, and provide valuable customer insights to improve services.

"By integrating n.go onto our platform, Foodics’ clients will be able to serve existing customers, and also acquire new customers, who prefer in-restaurant or curbside pickups seamlessly through the Foodics cashier app. We are proud to welcome homegrown pioneers such as n.go to the extended Foodics family,” says Foodics’ CEO Ahmad. Mazen Ghalib Al-Abdullah, n.go CEO and founder, expressed that the partnership is a "win-win situation for both n.go and Foodics," noting the opportunity for increased customer convenience and growth for both companies. 

All in all, Djamel anticipates that Foodics’ diverse payment solutions will account for nearly 50% of total revenue and could triple annual earnings. They aim to have at least 70% of current customers using these payment solutions within the next six months to a year. 

A dominant player in Saudi Arabia's startup ecosystem, Foodics is revolutionizing the intersection of Foodtech and Fintech, across multiple geographies across the globe. The company has truly solidified its role as a pioneer and leader in the F&B digital solutions and payment systems space, but insist that they are only getting started.

Ahmad Al-Zaini, Foodics Co-founder and CEO

In Frame: Ahmad Al-Zaini, Foodics Co-founder and CEO


To read more about the future of food and the growing business of foodtech – read the full report here


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