Sweetheart Kitchen Raises US$17.7 Million In Series C Funding Round To Launch New Brands And Kitchen Units Across MENA


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


You’re reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Cloud kitchen operator Sweetheart Kitchen has successfully secured €15 million (US$17.7 million) in a Series C funding round backed by strategic investors, led by the company’s founder and CEO Peter Schatzberg.

As a delivery-only multi-brand virtual kitchen, Schatzberg notes that the Dubai-based company is keen to invest their funding into supply chain technology, food design and hiring talent, as they had previously done, and which they plan to continue to do so. “Scaling units is certainly one important objective for us, but we are also investing in streamlining our processes and systems to achieve profitability.”

As a company that is only 15 months old, it’s noteworthy to point out its impressive milestones. The startup (which, according to a Wamda report, is backed by Germany’s Delivery Hero) has previously raised €21 million ($24.8 million) in a previous round. Thus, as of date, the startup has raised a total of $43 million. The brand boasts a portfolio of 30 brands, such as Wingo, Avocado Bravo and Affordabowls, among others.

That’s not to say that cloud kitchen startup hasn’t had their fair share of hurdles during the pandemic. Schatzberg comments, “Almost overnight, we pivoted from scaling volume and units, to demonstrating profitability through aggressive cost-cutting measures that would ordinarily take place in a mature enterprise.” They had to close live units in Kuwait, as well as make reductions, and lose cash flow as they were waiting to open a number of completed units, but was vacant due to citywide lockdowns. He adds, “Any incremental revenue we might have received as a function of the pandemic was more than offset by the various costs and challenges that the pandemic created.”

To utilize the time, the team focused internally on “controllership, efficiency, quality and profitability,” which Schatzberg says ignited the enterprise’s maturity more rapidly. With the new capital fusion, the team is gearing up to launch five additional brands, as well as have 12 units live in the UAE by the beginning of 2021, with more expansion into the KSA market in the second half of the same year. The team is also excited to scale across the region as they originally planned, starting with its relaunch in Kuwait. He concludes, “We plan on re-opening in January with seven kitchens, and on covering over 75% of Kuwait by the end of Q2 2021 with our new brands.”

‘TREP TALK ME: Peter Schatzberg, founder and CEO of Sweetheart Kitchen

What’s your advice to fellow entrepreneurs who are raising capital during this unprecedented time?

1. Ask yourself if you really need to raise capital right now

“Carefully consider whether you have the capabilities, business plan and determination to raise capital during a global economic downturn. Your time is precious, and rejection can be painful. Do not waste time trying to raise funds in this environment if you are not prepared to face

Read more

Dash Teams Up With Delish To Launch New, Multi-Product Kitchen Line

The first product to be released from the line is the Delish by Dash Stand Mixer, available in five striking colors to complement any kitchen decor. Perfect for every cooking and baking need, the mixer is equipped with five-speed power and includes two beaters and two dough hooks. The beaters release with the touch of a button and the bowl is removable for easy clean up. 

“When we launched Delish, our mission was to make cooking easy and fun,” said Joanna Saltz, Editorial Director for Delish. And our Delish by Dash products are the perfect extension of that strategy—they’re packed with personality and are so simple to use. Plus, they make any kitchen feel like a party.”

“Our licensing partnership with Dash exudes quality products and a path to wellness by making delicious, healthy meals at home fun and entertaining, which is what the Delish brand stands for,” said Steve Ross, head of brand development and chief licensing officer for Hearst Magazines.

Dash is one of a range of housewares brands developed and produced by StoreBound. “We’re thrilled to partner with Delish and engage with an even wider audience of home cooks through this innovative new kitchen line,” said StoreBound Founder and CEO Evan Dash of the collaboration. “We’ve created Delish by Dash products to appeal to passionate and adventurous foodies who’ve come to trust Delish as an authority on recipes and cooking.”

Included with the Stand Mixer and with every Delish by Dash product is a booklet of top-rated recipes from Delish, along with some of the Delish food editors’ favorite dessert recipes from their second cookbook, Insane Sweets.

The new Delish by Dash Stand Mixer is available now at by Dash.com and on Amazon.

To stay up to date on the latest, visit www.bydash.com and follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

About Delish
Delish.com is the destination for recipes, videos, and the latest food news that get people excited to cook. Delish is the fastest-growing food media brand on the internet with more than 42 million unique monthly visitors and 3 billion video views a year. Delish.com is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst, a leading global, diversified media, information and services company.

About Dash
Dash is committed to helping people make healthy, unprocessed food at home. The brand is grounded in the belief that taking small steps every day to live a healthier life can make a big impact, and that the best path to wellness is eating whole, natural foods. In the store, in the kitchen, and online, Dash provides the tools and content to help consumers make delicious healthy meals. That’s what living unprocessed is all about.

About StoreBound
StoreBound is a family of brands bound by innovation. Leveraging a fully integrated model of concept development, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, sales, marketing, and business management, StoreBound develops quality products and manages their performance at key retailers. With thoughtful, well-designed home and housewares products, StoreBound’s aim is to

Read more

At White House’s urging, Republicans launch anti-tech blitz ahead of election

Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), meanwhile, is holding a markup of new legislation on Thursday aimed at addressing allegations of an anti-conservative bias on social media. It’s the fastest any bill to revamp the legal shield has moved from introduction to a markup on Capitol Hill in recent memory.

Both committees are targeting liability protections that have been credited with fueling Silicon Valley’s success. The provision — enshrined in a 1996 law known as Section 230 — has allowed online businesses to grow without fear of lawsuits over user posts or their decisions to remove or otherwise moderate users’ content.

Both lawmakers have reason to want to get in the White House’s good graces. Graham, a prominent Trump ally, is facing the fight of his political life to hold onto his South Carolina seat against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. And Wicker will want to maintain a firm hold on his gavel, which gives him jurisdiction over most legislation targeting Section 230.

The congressional actions mark a sudden and dramatic escalation of efforts by Senate Republicans to revamp the legal shield — particularly with a Congress readying for elections and embroiled in negotiations over Covid relief. But Republicans say Section 230 has allowed social media platforms to discriminate against conservative viewpoints with impunity. Tech companies deny any such bias, and the administration itself has noted there’s limited academic data to back up the concerns.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a top Trump ally on tech and longtime critic of Section 230, called the recent surge of activity by his colleagues “a sea change.” President Donald Trump, he said, has been a driving force in rallying them.

“There’s hardly a conversation I have with the president where this doesn’t come up, where Section 230 does not come up, usually raised by him,” Hawley said in an interview. “It is much on his mind and I think his strong stance on this issue has had a big effect in opening the eyes of some of my Republican colleagues to realize this is a major issue.”

Trump has taken his own steps to weaken Silicon Valley’s standing after Twitter began adding fact-check and warning labels to some of his tweets.

The president issued an executive order in May asking his independent agencies to crack down on the liability protections, and has taken an active role in seeking results. He has pulled in agency heads for discussions over how to implement the executive order and he nominated to the Federal Communications Commission a Commerce Department staffer who help craft an administration petition to narrow Section 230 protections.

The onslaught against the liability shield comes ahead of a November election where tech companies are likely to face high-stakes decisions over how to handle posts by Trump seeking to undermine the results of the tally. Facebook, Google and Twitter have all outlined plans to limit political candidates’ ability to declare premature victory or cast doubt on the voting process ahead of Nov. 3.

It’s not Thursday’s sessions

Read more

Ghetto Gastro Teamed Up With Crux to Launch a Killer Kitchen Appliance Collab

A recent photo on Ghetto Gastro’s Instagram shows an olive oil-laden cake, finished in a crisscrossing pattern of white LVs and four-pointed stars—the Louis Vuitton Damier. “Eat up the drip,” Ghetto Gastro co-founder Chef Lester Walker captioned it. Before that, the team was advertising an Instagram Live hosted by themselves and Samin Nosrat, the woman who reacquainted us all with the wonders of salt, fat, acid, and heat, for New York Times Cooking. Tonight, Ghetto Gastro’s got Matty Matheson of Vice’s Munchies fame talking with co-founder Jon Gray about his new, homestyle cookbook in a virtual event put on by the Strand bookstore in New York.

The collective, which began in part to showcase the culinary excellence of the Bronx, has cemented itself as the “Black Power kitchen of tomorrow,” intertwining the issues of racism with food insecurity, to name just one talking point. It disperses cooking vibes, urges followers to vote, sells seriously cool merch, and spurs hard conversations about inclusion and inequality in the food world. And as that little snapshot of Instagram activity shows, Ghetto Gastro, under co-founders Walker, Gray, and Pierre Serrao, is tapping into a culinary corner of the internet that’s young, passionate, and hungry.

So it makes a whole lot of sense that it’d join up with Crux, a New York-centric cookware brand (you might recognize its air fryer), on a new line of kitchen appliances. Those appliances are striking in appearance. The cause behind them is even more so: All the proceeds of sales from the Ghetto Gastro x Crux collaboration through October will go to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, which is working to empower the next generation of Black and brown leaders. That certainly sweetens the deal.

Starting today, Williams-Sonoma is exclusively selling the collection, which you can check out below. Give your kitchen a new look, or start building an appliance collection from the ground up. Either way, you’ll know the money’s going to something that matters, for a product designed by kitchen pros. We regularly get excited about clothing collabs. Now, we’re excited about this kitchen appliance collab.

Source Article

Read more

Aldi Australia set to launch a massive kitchen range – including a $99.99 air fryer

Aldi set to launch a MASSIVE kitchen collection – including a $99.99 air fryer, bar fridge and an electric wine bottle opener for just $39.99

  • Aldi Australia is set to unveil a new range of kitchen gadgets on October 10 
  • The collection includes $99.99 air fryer oven and a $39.99 electric bottle opener
  • Other items include a vintage bar fridge and a stick mixer set for just $19.99

Aldi Australia is set to unveil a new range of kitchen gadgets – including a $99.99 air fryer oven with a pizza function, a vintage bar fridge and a $39.99 electric wine bottle opener.

Home cooks can head into stores on Saturday, October 10 to get their hands on the budget Special Buys collection.

Among the deals are an air fryer that doubles as an oven, a 158L bar fridge with freezer compartment for $249 and a stick mixer set for just $19.99. 

Shoppers will be able to make their own pizzas in the 23L air fryer oven, which comes with a baking tray, rack, rotisserie set, air fryer basket and pizza stone

Shoppers will be able to make their own pizzas in the 23L air fryer oven, which comes with a baking tray, rack, rotisserie set, air fryer basket and pizza stone

Wine lovers can open bottles with ease using the $39.99 electric wine opening set, which comes with a storage stand, a preserver and two stoppers

Wine lovers can open bottles with ease using the $39.99 electric wine opening set, which comes with a storage stand, a preserver and two stoppers

Shoppers will be able to make their own pizzas in the 23L air fryer oven, which comes with a baking tray, rack, rotisserie set, air fryer basket and pizza stone.

The gadget device features a 10 preset cooking functions including dehydrate and air fry so you cook a pizza, whole chicken, chips, fish, steak, drumsticks and cake. 

Perfect for prepping food in a flash, the $19.99 stick mixer comes complete with chopping bowl, a 500mL chopping bowl and a 700mL blending jug.

Wine lovers can open bottles with ease using the $39.99 electric wine opening set, which comes with a storage stand, a preserver and two stoppers.

For a sleek design, shoppers can enjoy a 115L vintage bar fridge for $299

The bar fridge features a glass door, a two-bottle capacity wine rack, glass shelves and a crisper drawer.

For a sleek design, shoppers can enjoy a 115L vintage bar fridge for $299, which features a glass door, a two-bottle capacity wine rack, glass shelves and a crisper drawer

Other items on sale include a chic $49.99 digital stainless steel kettle with a 30-minute keep warm function and a $59.99 four-slice toaster with a dual LCD countdown timer display, adjustable browning control dials and anti-jam function

Other items on sale include a chic $49.99 digital stainless steel kettle with a 30-minute keep warm function and a $59.99 four-slice toaster with a dual LCD countdown timer display, adjustable browning control dials and anti-jam function

There's also a 158L bar fridge with freezer compartment for just $249

There's also a 158L bar fridge with freezer compartment for just $249

There’s also a 158L bar fridge with freezer compartment for just $249, which has a temperature control, semi-automatic defrost function, magnetic door seal, glass shelves, crisper drawer and three door balconies

For a sleek design, shoppers can enjoy a 115L vintage bar fridge for $299, which features a glass door, a two-bottle capacity wine rack, glass shelves and a crisper drawer.

There’s also a 158L bar fridge with freezer compartment for just $249, which has a temperature control, semi-automatic defrost function, magnetic door seal, glass shelves, crisper drawer and three door balconies. 

Other items on sale include a chic $49.99

Read more

Google Chromecast hits Home Depot shelves ahead of official launch, report says

google-android-tv-sabrina-watermarked-4

We’re just two days away from the new Chromecast, but some people have been able to buy it already. 


XDA Developers

Two days before Google’s Pixel 5 event, the company’s rumored new Chromecast has been spotted for sale at Home Depot for $50. People on social media as well as tech site The Verge said they were able to purchase the still unannounced streaming device at the home improvement retailer. The receipt listed the new Chromecast as “Sabrina-Abbey Rock Candy,” the hardware’s codename, according to The Verge. 

Read more: Best streaming device of 2020: Roku, Apple TV, Fire Stick, Nvidia Shield and more compared

CNET has reached out to Google for comment, and we’ll update when we hear back.

The new device apparently isn’t available at all Home Depot locations, so you might not have any luck if you try to score one early yourself. One Reddit user came across one on Sunday and posted a photo: 

After a leak earlier this year, Google’s Chromecast Ultra successor has been spotted at a host of retailers, including Walmart, for between $50 and $60. Earlier this month, Google’s yet-to-be-released Nest Audio device was also spotted at a Walmart. 

We should learn more about the new Chromecast with Google TV at the tech giant’s “Launch Night In” event on Wednesday. Stay tuned!


Now playing:
Watch this:

Google Pixel 5 preview



7:28

Source Article

Read more

Wonderla Holidays to launch ‘Wonder Kitchen’ in Hyderabad

Wonderla Holidays Limited is set to launch its 4th food takeaway and home delivery outlet under the brand name “Wonder Kitchen” at Hyderabad.

Wonderla announced its foray into food takeaway and home delivery division in June 2020 with the launch of the first Wonder Kitchen outlet located at Kengeri, Bengaluru. After the successful run of Kengeri outlet, Wonder Kitchen opened two more outlets and this is their fourth.

Wonder Kitchen is a multi-cuisine cloud-kitchen serving vegetarian and non–vegetarian dishes and has also partnered with Swiggy and Zomato for online orders and home delivery apart from takeaway.

Arun Chittilappilly, Whole-time Director of Wonderla Holidays said, “The Covid-19 crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. Our parks and resort chains have been affected across the locations due to thus turmoil. In these difficult times, we decided to step into the new business venture with the support of our experienced staff.”

Source Article

Read more

Democratic groups launch digital ad blitz to flip Texas Legislature

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

A coalition of groups working to flip the Texas House is unveiling a $1.1 million digital ad campaign backing 11 candidates.

With Democrats nine seats away from the majority, the program targets some of the most competitive races, according to details first shared with The Texas Tribune. The beneficiaries include contenders such as Joanna Cattanach, the challenger to state Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, and Akilah Bacy, who is running for an open seat in Houston.

The members of the coalition include the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, the group led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee. Also involved are the Future Now Fund, The People PAC and The Creative Resistance.

Each of the 11 candidates has been endorsed by at least one of the coalition groups.

The majority fight is drawing increasing national investment. The Democratic super PAC Forward Majority announced earlier this month that it would spend $6.2 million across 18 races, while the Republican State Leadership Committee said days later that it would plow more into Texas than any other state this fall and top the Forward Majority investment.

“I feel good about where we are,” NDRC campaigns director Garrett Arwa said in an interview. “I think that for us, the evidence is in the fact that we are rolling out a program of this magnitude, with the number of partners we are rolling it out with.”

Arwa said the ads will be “largely positive” and, in general, will spotlight the candidates’ backgrounds, biographies and qualifications. “This is very district by district, this is very candidate by candidate,” Arwa said of the messaging.

Here are the 11 candidates benefiting from the digital ad blitz:

  • HD-26: L. Sarah DeMerchant, who is running for the seat of retiring Rep. Rick Miller, R-Sugar Land.
  • HD-64: Angela Brewer, who is running against Rep. Lynn Stucky, R-Denton.
  • HD-66: Sharon Hirsch, who is challenging Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano.
  • HD-67: Lorenzo Sanchez, who is running to unseat Rep. Jeff Leach R-Plano.
  • HD-92: Jeff Whitfield, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford.
  • HD-93: Lydia Bean, who is running to defeat Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth.
  • HD-97: Elizabeth Beck, who is opposing Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth.
  • HD-108: Cattanach, who is opposing Meyer.
  • HD-112: Brandy Chambers, who is challenging Rep. Angie Chen Button, R-Richardson.
  • HD-134: Ann Johnson, who is running against Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston.
  • HD-138: Bacy, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston.

Source Article

Read more

House Democrats launch investigation into alleged political interference in CDC reports

Washington — House Democrats have launched an investigation into allegations that political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have sought to review and alter weekly scientific reports issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis are seeking voluntary testimony from seven officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, including Michael Caputo, the agency’s spokesman, and Paul Alexander, his senior adviser.

Politico reported last week that Caputo, who joined the Trump administration in April, and Alexander, who Caputo hired, have attempted to alter or halt the release of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWRs), which are written by career scientists and prepared by the health agency. According to the CDC, readership of the reports largely consists of medical workers, epidemiologists, scientists and researchers.

“Political appointees’ attempts to interfere with CDC’s scientific reports, or MMWRs, risk undermining the scientific integrity of these reports and of the CDC itself,” the Democrats wrote in a letter Monday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

While experts have relied on the reports during the coronavirus crisis to determine how the virus spreads and who is at risk, “HHS officials apparently viewed these scientific reports as opportunities for political manipulation,” they said.

The Democrats are also requesting Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, and Charlotte Kent, the editor in chief of the MMWR, among others, appear before the coronavirus panel, and want the department to turn over a trove of documents.

Caputo said in a statement to CBS News that the public affairs office at the Department of Health and Human Services “clears virtually all public-facing documents for all of its divisions, including CDC.”

“Dr. Alexander advises me on pandemic policy and he has been encouraged to share his opinions with other scientists. Like all scientists, his advice is heard and taken or rejected by his peers,” he said. “Our intention is to make sure that evidence, science-based data drives policy through this pandemic — not ulterior deep state motives in the bowels of CDC.”

Former Trump Campaign Official Michael Caputo To Be Interviewed By Senate Intelligence Committee Staffers
Michael Caputo

Mark Wilson / Getty Images


According to Politico, Caputo and his team have sought to retroactively alter CDC reports they claimed incorrectly inflated the risks of the coronavirus and tried to stop the release of others, including one that discussed how doctors were prescribing hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug touted by President Trump as a treatment for the coronavirus. The report on hydroxychloroquine was published last week after it was held up for months, Politico reported. The Food and Drug Administration revoked an emergency authorization for using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID patients in June.
 
Politico also said in an article published last week that Alexander claimed in an August 8 email that the CDC was “writing hit pieces on the administration.” Efforts to influence the reports began after a May report from Schuchat detailed the “rapid acceleration of

Read more

House Democrats launch investigation of political interference in CDC science publications

House Democrats are launching an investigation into the Trump administration’s political interference with the publication of scientific reports at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, led by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), cited reporting from Politico that showed administration appointees have repeatedly interfered with the CDC’s reports on the pandemic, which are published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The lawmakers said they are investigating the scope of political interference with the CDC’s scientific reports and other efforts to combat the pandemic, the impact of the interference on the CDC’s mission, whether the interference is continuing and any “steps that Congress may need to take to stop it before more Americans die needlessly.”

“Political appointees’ attempts to interfere with CDC’s scientific reports, or MMWRs, risk undermining the scientific integrity of these reports and of the CDC itself,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield.

“During the pandemic, experts have relied on these reports to determine how the virus spreads and who is at greatest risk. Yet HHS officials apparently viewed these scientific reports as opportunities for political manipulation,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Democrats cited reporting that showed political appointees at HHS, including Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo and senior adviser Paul Alexander, have been focused on suppressing and changing reports to align more closely with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCrowd aims ‘lock him up’ chant at Obama during Trump rally Nevada governor: Trump ‘taking reckless and selfish actions’ in holding rally Michigan lieutenant governor blasts Trump coronavirus response: He ‘is a liar who has killed people’ MORE‘s attempts to downplay the full extent of the pandemic.

The Democrats called for the administration to provide communications sent or received by Redfield regarding the reports, as well as additional documents from Caputo, Alexander, Azar and HHS public relations aide Brad Traverse.

In a rare move, the lawmakers are seeking to conduct transcribed interviews with political and career CDC and HHS officials, including CDC Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, acting CDC chief of staff Nina Witkofsky, acting CDC deputy chief of staff Trey Moeller, acting CDC communications director Kate Galatas and MMWR editor-in-chief Charlotte Kent. 

The Democrats are also seeking to interview Caputo and Alexander, after speaking with the CDC and HHS staff. The lawmakers said they want interviews to begin Sept. 22.

In an interview with The Washington Post over the weekend, Caputo defended attempts to control the timing and content of the reports. 

Caputo blamed “ulterior deep state motives in the bowels of CDC” and claimed without evidence that some of the MMWRs have been used as political tools to discredit President Trump.

Source Article

Read more