The proliferation of delivery services gives customers many options, but spells chaos for busy restaurants that need to manage orders across multiple apps and channels. Many kitchens do this by juggling multiple devices at once, one for each app. click it wants to rescue Southeast Asian food companies from “tablet hell” by merging order information from all apps into one platform. The Singapore-based startup just got out of stealth mode with $2 million in pre-seed funding.
The round was co-led by Global Founders Capital and Wavemaker Partners, with participation from Gentree Fund, AfterWork Ventures, Reshape Ventures, Nordstar, Pentas Ventures, Moving Capital, Gojek co-founder Kevin Aluwi, NasDaily’s Nuseir Yassin, YouTuber Lazar Beam and Radish Fiction founder Seung-yoon Lee. Strategic angel investors include executives from Gojek, YouTube and Flash Coffee.
Since its launch seven months ago, Klikit’s SaaS platform, Klikit Cloud, has been used to process more than $2.8 million in orders across 150 brands in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia.
Users currently include Bistro Group (the Philippine franchisee of TGI Fridays, Hard Rock Cafe and Buffalo Wild Winds, Flash Coffee and ghost kitchen startups MadEats and Just Kitchen.
Klikit was founded in 2021 by Christopher Withers, who has significant experience in the on-demand space – he previously served as vice president of marketplaces at GoJek, chief strategy officer at Bangladesh ride-hailing platform Pathao, and launched UberEats in the Asia Pacific.
During the pandemic, while at GoJek, Withers moved home to Australia to work remotely. He also owned and operated a haunted kitchen.
Withers told australiabusinessblog.com that he has always been fascinated by the food delivery space.
“I started my haunted kitchen because I always wanted to experience the difficulties of running a restaurant firsthand, rather than hypothesize on the sidelines or from behind my laptop while building out many of these super-app marketplaces,” he said.
During that time, Withers was overwhelmed by the number and cost of platforms, devices, software, advertising and social media he had to juggle with. So he wanted to find more effective ways to manage them and launch new brands.
Withers explains that existing F&B software is not suitable for many delivery restaurants and cloud kitchens, and that less than 2% of merchants in Asia have integrated their delivery orders with legacy point-of-sale systems. This allows kitchens and staff to manage orders across apps and devices, which is not only time consuming but also leads to missed orders, errors, confusion and general chaos.
“Many operators call this ‘tablet hell’ and some of our customers had as many as 20+ devices – taking up an entire pantry of real estate – for a single kitchen location!” said Withers.
Klikit differentiates itself from older POS systems, which were built for single-brand businesses, by allowing restaurants and haunted kitchens to manage multiple food brands in different locations and channels on a single device. Features include updating menus in delivery apps, which Klikit can do quickly as it has official API agreements with apps like GrabFood, foodpanda, GoFood, and UberEats. It provides on-demand access to historical data analysis (unlike many F&B software systems that limit data to time-limited viewings), including daily sales, product mixes, and channel breakdowns.
Since many restaurants in Southeast Asia often process delivery orders via social media such as WhatsApp, SMS or audio messages, Klikit also makes it possible to add these orders to the order dashboard so that they are included in the analyses.
If one of Klikit’s customers has additional capacity and equipment, they can sign up to access its virtual brand partnerships with creators and consumer brands. Klikit is now partnering with creators with a combined following of 38 million in the Philippines and Australia to launch two creator drops by the end of 2022. Withers says Klikit is tied to top YouTubers because they have the clout to compete with fast food giants, marketing wise.
Klikit’s closest competitors include Deliverect and NextBite, but Withers says he believes a regional startup like Klikit will succeed because it can strengthen API partnerships with major delivery apps.
The startup’s new funding was used during stealth mode to hire 30 people in six countries. It will also use the capital for regional expansion and adding more features by building a technical team.
In a statement, Paul Santos, managing partner of Wavemaker Partners, said: “We see Klikit solving many unaddressed problems for restaurateurs everywhere, while also creating unique solutions for creators and brands to monetize and engage with fans in entirely new ways. Their vision strategically brings together the converging and only growing trends in food delivery and the creative economy.”