Ghent-based Casper has raised €5 million in a Series A funding round. The company operates a delivery and take out-only restaurant service, a.k.a dark or ghost kitchens with 10 virtual brands all on tap at any given time. The fresh cheddar is meant to help Casper’s waistline to continue to expand and grow into new markets further afield.
For the record, I can’t record a Series A raise with such a low number. However, Casper lists a co-founder as Zhong Xu. If that name is ringing any bells, you might recall that Xu is also the co-founder and CEO of Belgian unicorn Deliverect, a service that integrates online orders from food delivery channels into restaurants’ POS
With this in mind, it’s not too hard to understand where Casper’s zero-waste policy and arduous work in sourcing local suppliers' ethos comes from. “As digitisation becomes more and more popular, we’ve seen how much not only restaurants but grocery and convenience stores need streamlined online ordering to meet customer satisfaction, especially among Millennials and Generation Z shoppers,” Xu has previously stated.
With this expertise in mind, Casper is catering to the masses and promises any of 10 cuisines delivered to your doorstep within 30 minutes. Perhaps tapping into a growing zeitgeist of desperately wanting a return to real life, actual in person, face to face interactions, Casper is flipping the switch on the "dark" model, throwing open the shutters and letting the light in.
Each of Caspers’ locations across Belgium feature high street visibility, with clear and recognisable branding, offering would-be punters the opportunity to walk in to place an order, as well as dedicated waiting areas for delivery riders.
“It is our belief that the combination of our delivery-proof offering with a perfectly balanced fusion of tech expertise, building hospitality brands and operational excellence is the best way to do so,” commented co-founder and CEO Matthias Laga. “We will be opening new locations in the Benelux and France and by 2024 we plan to have 50 international locations. It’s an ambitious plan, but we are ready for it. Good thing we’re not afraid to take on big challenges; they give the best rewards!”
Casper’s €5 million Series A round was led by Amsterdam-based Slingshot Ventures, a fund solely backed by successful entrepreneurs, and saw the participation of serial entrepreneurs Jürgen Ingels (Smartfin), Zhong Xu, and Jan Hollez (Deliverect).
“The dark kitchen market is growing rapidly, fueled by the fast adoption of online food ordering and the rise of on-demand food delivery apps. Especially Millennials and Gen Z are increasingly accustomed to ordering food from delivery-only restaurants. Casper is the leading player in Belgium and well-positioned to grow its presence internationally. We are impressed by the relentless focus on customer satisfaction, food quality and operational excellence of Matthias and his team,” concluded Slingshot Ventures’ Tanja Kramer.
Speaking of Belgium, we'll be putting Casper's services to the test ourselves when the entire Tech.eu team, alongside some of Europe's top minds in tech descend upon the city on the 17th of May. See you there.