Egyptian startup Akla-Baity is helping Cairo residents find amateur cooks in their area, order food and have it delivered to their doors.
Launched in March, Akla-Baity – which means “homemade food” in Arabic – connects users with amateur cooks, mostly females that cook from their own homes.
Using the website – an app is set for launch early next year – cooks can sign up for the platform and advertise their meals to users in the vicinity. Akla-Baity takes a 25 per cent cut of every sale made through its platform, which orders paid for in cash upon delivery.
The self-funded startup has served over 600 meals to date, and has a month-on-month growth rate of 100 per cent. Founder Shereen Salah told Disrupt Africa Akla-Baity had been started to give busy families the chance to order food without incurring the high costs of going to a restaurant.
“Eating out is a very expensive options for a family as there are 13 per cent VAT and 12 per cent service charges at a restaurant, and the country’s inflation rate is 35 per cent. Ordering fast food is costly and unhealthy. Our customers can enjoy a peer-to-peer dining experience within their budget and time constraints,” she said.
There is competition in the market, but these platform operate on a single unified kitchen domain, allowing customers to order from a single menu instead of being able to find their favourite cooks at the right prices. Choice is key to the Akla-Baity offering.
Challenges have included Egypt’s poor internet infrastructure and the low penetration of credit cards, while Salah said the whole idea of the business takes time for people to digest.
However, she plans to expand the service to other major cities in Africa and the Middle East, and is in the process of raising US$100,000 to help her scale the business.