dahmakan raises US$2.6mil, prepares for market expansion
By Anushia Kandasivam January 9, 2018
- First Malaysian startup in YCombinator
- AI-driven tech allows for food delivery guarantee
MALAYSIA-based fully integrated food delivery startup dahmakan closed a US$2.6 million pre-series A round of funding following a US$1.3 million seed round in Feb 2017.
Investment for this pre-series A round was led by YCombinator, Texas Atlantic Capital, Swiss family office Atami Capital and a former founder of private equity fund APAX Partners with participation from undisclosed existing investors.
dahmakan joined American startup accelerator YCombinator’s (YC) summer programme last year, the first Malaysian startup to do so.
“Y Combinator was an amazingly fast-tracked intensive experience. Its goal is to scale its portfolio companies quickly. It was an honour to be the first Malaysian startup to participate,” says dahmakan co-founder and chief executive officer Jonathan Weins.
“This incredible opportunity opened many doors to a new calibre of mentors and investors globally”.
“I would recommend YCombinator for regional startups that are looking to be part of a global network of mentors and investors. The exposure to the partners at YC, the alumni and also the investors is invaluable. It's also an incredible opportunity to accelerate growth and learning from what is arguably the best startup accelerator in the world,” adds co-founder and chief operations officer Jessica Li.
According to Li, the funding will be used for a second market roll-out, investing into developing dahmakan’s technology and hiring talent.
As it is in the midst of finalising roll-out, dahmakan declined to reveal which markets it is expanding to and when.
Founded in 2015 by three ex-foodpanda executives (Rocket Internet’s food delivery marketplace which exited to Delivery Hero in 2016), dahmakan started with the mission to cut out the middlemen from food delivery marketplaces and pass the value back to the customers to make high quality, convenient food delivery everyday affordable.
The model centralises food production and uses a proprietary artificial intelligence-driven routing technology to batch deliveries for lunch and dinner in scheduled time windows selected by the customer.
This technology is one part of the Dahmakan Intelligent Operator System (DIOS), a self-learning system based on 24 different AI components. Li says that the startup is spending a lot of time both improving the algorithm and integrating other proprietary operating systems into the DIOS.
Moving away from purely on-demand cooking and delivery has meant that the startup captures much more efficiencies in its operations. This successful strategy has allowed it to continually increase margins and grow month-over-month sales by 20% since its launch.
The startup is so confident with the level of on-time delivery rates it has rolled out a delivery guarantee to customers, the only food delivery company apart from pizza chain Domino’s that offers this.
dahmakan is anticipating a series A funding round later in 2018.