Asia was a hot market in December, with India-based food delivery company Swiggy taking home the top $1 billion funding prize.
— Danni Santana
Last month’s slew of announced funding rounds by firms was highlighted by India food delivery startup Swiggy, which earned $1 billion in Series B funding. Stakeholders also showed particular interest in young coffee chains in Asia. Even a growing segment in the restaurant industry, robotic-based farming, drew repeat attention from the likes of Google Ventures.
Note: This is the second installment of Skift Table’s monthly tech-funding roundup. To view November’s list, click here.
Amount Raised: $1 billion
Lead Investors: Naspers Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, and Hillhouse Capital.
Skift Table Take: Swiggy is now valued at a little over $3 billion, and will use the seed funding to hire new staff and build on its technology. The announcement also triggered fellow India-based delivery company Zomato to seek its own $1 billion investment this week to counter Swiggy. Jealousy perhaps? Funding aside, both of these vendors are now additionally coping with new regulations passed by India’s Food and Safety Standards Authority (FSSAI) last week.
Amount Raised: $320 million
Lead Investors: Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital, and GIC.
Skift Table Take: The deal values the South Korean aggregator at $2.6 billion. Woowa said the money is earmarked for international expansion and building autonomous delivery robots. Newsflash: Humans will never trust machines. The tactic also sounds like a way to avoid paying employees living wages.
Amount Raised: $5.5 million
Lead Investors: Global Founders Capital and Elkstone.
Skift Table Take: Flipdish is a startup that helps independent restaurants and chains compete with aggregators by accepting delivery orders directly from customers with lower costs and more control over the customer experience. Can you say Darden Restaurants’ partnership?
Amount Raised: $10 million
Lead Investors: The Coca-Cola Company, Performance Food Group, and Jeff Vinik.
Skift Table Take: Omnivore attempts to tie together restaurants’ off-premise programs, loyalty programs, online ordering and payment, reservations, and labor management by integrating all of those vendors into a restaurant’s central point-of-sale system in a way in which operators can easily see and analyze data from every program that they use. Managing third-party services continues to be a large obstacle for owners, many of which understandably prefer simplicity in their partnerships.
Amount Raised: $200 million
Lead Investors: GIC and China International Capital Corp.
Skift Table Take: Luckin Coffee is one of the notable coffee startups taking on Starbucks in China. Who doesn’t love an underdog, right? The problem is the company has only existed for a little more than a year. How exactly will it compete with Starbucks’ new “first mover advantage” strategy going forward?
Copper Cow Coffee
Amount Raised: $2 million
Lead Investors: Silverton Partners, CRCM Ventures, and AmplifyHer Ventures
Skift Table Take: Vietnam-based Copper Cow Coffee has scaled quickly, opening 3,000 stores since 2016. However, this seed round is aimed at expanding its e-commerce and office subscriptions business. Instant coffee can come in clutch when there is nothing else around.
Amount Raised: $90 million
Lead Investors: Google Ventures, Emasek, and David Barber’s Almanac fund, among others.
Skift Table Take: Bowery Farming is barely two-years-old, but the seller of pesticide-free produce has Sweetgreen, Dig Inn and Whole Foods as clients for a reason. Bowery grows food in its New Jersey factory using robotics. The funding round will be used to open up more vertical farms in new cities, according to Business Insider. This should mean that more partnerships are coming down the pipe soon.
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