As legend has it, Frank Sinatra was such a fan of one particular New York City pizzeria that during a series of concert engagements in Los Angeles, the Chairman of the Board had a number of his favourite pies flown across the continent in his private plane.
So great is the appeal of the dish that the earliest recorded mention of the word pizza dates back to 997 AD, with the modern version we’re most familiar with making an appearance in 1889.
And so it was that in late 2021 two ex-Delivery Hero executives set out to deliver what they’ve termed, “the world's first digitally-powered, delivery-first pizza restaurant concept”.
$9 million Series A
Raising nearly €6 million in a Seed funding round in mid-2022, today the company has announced the successful completion of a $9 million Series A round aimed at expanding its model.
Milano Vice, in some ways similar to outfits such as Taster and Growth Kitchen, is cashing in on under-utilised kitchens, and partnering with food business and restaurant owners, offering them an alternative revenue stream. In this case, the baking of pizzas.
According to the startup, they’ve seen small business partners increase sales by more than 4x. One example notes that a bakery in Berlin saw revenues jump from €20,000 in monthly sales to €95,000 as a result of the partnership.
While pizza might not often be found on the menu of a bakery or kebab shop, to keep an eye on quality, Milano Vice says it's developed a technology stack that employs artificial intelligence and computer vision technology to track the quality of pizzas that end up packaged and delivered under the company’s moniker.
Since launching in January of 2022, Milano Vice quotes delivery figures in excess of 1 million across Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, and North Rhine-Westphalia, and currently has partnerships established with over 60 businesses across Germany.
Specifically catering to the Millenial and GenZ demographic, the startup says its brand is bolstered through local events, creator collaborations, and streetwear partnerships.
This heavy reliance on marking and branding is reinformed through four of the company’s five current job openings containing references to marketing. A brand lead listing specifically asks for a “Customer-oriented approach to understanding the psychology of what works and why”.
Interestingly, according to the 'about us' section of the same job board, Gaudy Foods, the parent company of Milano Vice, isn't limiting itself to Germany or just pizza:
"Milano Vice is our first virtual food brand that is currently focused on pizza delivery in Germany, with the opportunity to expand across categories and countries."
Likewise, in addition to established partnerships that are aimed at helping small food businesses and restaurants grow their income, in October of this year, Milano Vice opened its own physical location in Berlin. According to the company, it intends to further explore this concept by launching small-format locations housed in alternative real estate.
Lead image: Milano Vice co-founders Dennis Murselovic and Rudolf Donauer (left to right). Photo: Uncredited.