PETALING JAYA: Local food-technology venture Incite Foodtech Sdn Bhd is aiming to more than double its sales in 2022 to RM12 million, from RM5 million last year, which was “a bit unpredictable” due to the various movement control orders, said COO Eugene Chew (pix).
“With new expansion as well as new locations and new brands coming into play as well as a few different contracts that we are currently working on with hospitality groups, that number is very achievable and it could be even larger than that,” he told SunBiz in an interview.
In Malaysia, Incite Foodtech creates and acquires quick-serving-food (QSF) brands by leveraging big data. Union Artisan Coffee is one of Incite Foodtech's top QSF brands with more than 17 outlets. Other brands in the venture's QSF portfolio include Wondermama, Halley, and Goodbooch. These QSF brands are available in multiple formats such as physical outlets, shared spaces, kiosks, and cloud kitchens.
Incite Foodtech was formed in 2020 by a group of people with backgrounds in food and beverage (F&B) technology, hospitality, banking and finance, logistics, marketing, and creative arts. To date, it has 20 locations throughout Klang Valley and has sold over 1.5 million cups of coffee.
The startup predicts a good outlook this year as its business model focuses on community building, which Chew said creates a comfortable space for people to meet up over food and coffee now that people are able to mingle around and socialise again. The prospect also seems bright now as Malaysian borders have opened up to tourists and business travellers.
“Incite Foodtech doesn’t necessarily need you to license our brand as a restaurant, but you can narrow it down to only taking a specific food to plug into your system,” Chew explained.
He said the startup is looking to raise US$2 million (RM8.4 million) by the end of the second quarter of this year under its preseed funding, for brand acquisition and concept building, working capital as well as technology. It launched an app last month to offer a more holistic F&B experience for its customers.
Incite Foodtech plans to add two new brands to its portfolio in 2022, bringing the total number of its QSF brands to 10 and expanding its footprint to 50 locations throughout the region, including Vietnam and Indonesia.
Incite Foodtech recently signed a master licensing deal with India’s Village Food Courts Pvt Ltd, marking the startup's first foray into the Indian market.
Under the agreement, Village Food Courts, a retail and real estate conglomerate, will be responsible for launching and expanding Incite Foodtech’s QSF brands in major cities across India.
Chew said the company targets to open at least 20 outlets in India in the next two years. Village Food Courts already has a sizeable foothold across all major cities, with over 50 sites in the queue for opening over the next 12 months.
The Indian company will introduce Incite Foodtech’s Union Artisan Coffee, Hope Coffee, Le Claire Patisserie, Eggdicted, and Lada Merah to the Indian market.
Incite Foodtech founder and director Tham Lih Chung said it is excited to bring Malaysian brands to a global audience.
“I always believe our business model is sustainable and scalable, regardless of the market size. We offer our brands to F&B establishments to be part of their offerings in multiple formats and also via licencing opportunities, thereby driving better revenues,” he said.