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


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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

‘We are doubling down on our cloud-kitchen brands’

While the nationwide lockdown hit India’s eating-out segment, forcing several casual dining outlets to shut shop, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, which runs the popular Social and Smoke House Deli, was quick to pivot to home deliveries, and is now set to launch its first covid-ready outlet. Riyaaz Amlani, CEO and managing director, Impresario, is certain that diners will come back to celebrate milestone occasions and to socialize, but admits that the next few months will be tricky. Edited excerpts from an interview:

With several states allowing restaurants to resume operations and serve liquor, how are dine-in sales shaping up?

Tier-2 towns have been really great in the bounce back. In the first month, business was at about 50%. It’s still early days, we still have to go through that 2-3-month period where we will have to normalize dining out again. Chandigarh started off with 50%, Delhi started off with 30-35%, Bengaluru was at 25-30%. Each day, each week, we’re seeing these numbers climbing up slowly and surely. For Smoke House, we have seen a greater comeback in some markets.

Impresario has opened two new Social outlets with partitions. Is that the future of eating out?

I don’t know if this is going to be like this forever. Yes, for the foreseeable future, people will be careful. I think for a very long time people are going to come into spaces to enjoy the vibe, but to be among people that they trust and know. This kind of creative partitions is a fun way of making sure that people have a good time. We just launched Dwarka Social (Delhi), Elante Social in Chandigarh and we have one more coming up in Thane.

Will you expand in these times of uncertainty?

We will be creating more stores, it is not like we are

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

Homeowners who recently purchased kitchen appliances give two brands especially high marks, according to J.D. Power’s 15th annual Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study.



a person standing in front of a refrigerator


© Stokkete / Shutterstock.com


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Samsung and LG swept the top customer satisfaction rankings in the survey. Samsung took five of the top honors, while LG took the other three.

The categories and highest-ranked brands in each category are as follows:

Dishwashers

  • Samsung (overall customer satisfaction score of 878 out of 1,000 points)
  • Bosch (872)
  • LG (869)

Over-the-range microwaves

  • Samsung (863)
  • LG (861)
  • Kenmore (860)

Freestanding ranges

  • Samsung (879)
  • Frigidaire (866)

Cooktops

  • LG (877)
  • GE Appliances (864)
  • Frigidaire (860)

Wall ovens

  • LG (892)
  • Samsung (887)
  • Bosch (876)

French door refrigerators

Side-by-side refrigerators

  • LG (867)
  • Samsung (866)
  • Whirlpool (854)

Top-mounted freezer, two-door refrigerators

To see all of the brands included in the study and how they rank, check out J.D. Power’s report. The rankings start on Page 3.

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This year’s satisfaction study is based on at least 1,300 — and in the case of refrigerators, more than 4,000 — customer evaluations for each of the products listed above.

Related: The 5 Most Expensive U.S. States for Retirees

The most reliable brand

Samsung and LG are both well-known manufacturers. But the most reliable brand in America is not exactly a household name.

As we reported, Speed Queen took top honors in Consumer Reports’ second annual Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings.

The victory was no fluke — Speed Queen earned the same ranking last year.

If you can’t decide between Samsung and LG when buying a kitchen appliance, it might help to know that LG also made the Consumer Reports reliability honor roll, finishing third.

Before you shop for a new appliance, remember that there

Meet the Mumbai family that built a Rs 25 Cr business by bringing German luxury kitchen brands to India

In 1998, while visiting Japan, Hamendra and Rati Sharma would walk to the train station every day and see a store by Poggenpohl, a leading German kitchen brand.

Captivated by the luxurious designs on display, inspired the couple to start a business that would bring luxury and modular kitchens to India.

The duo made this dream a reality in 1998 by starting SIS Imports in Mumbai, bringing Poggenpohl to the Indian market. In 2015, the business was rebranded to Plusch, and is responsible for introducing several German luxury kitchen, wardrobe and furniture brands to India.

Their daughter Sukriti Sharma, who is a partner at Plusch, tells SMBStory, “Not many people believed in my parents’ dream because no one felt there was a market for luxury kitchens [in India]. But we pioneered the movement and brought brands like Poggenpohl, Eggersmann, and Beckermann for kitchens; Interluebke and Schmalenbach for wardrobes; and COR, Draenert, and Walter Knoll for furniture.”

She claims that Plusch is presently raking in an annual turnover of Rs 25 crore, and has 80 employees across India.

Enduring a difficult start

Originally from Kanpur, both Hamendra and Rati grew up in families that dealt in the manufacturing business. While Hamendra’s father was in the steel business, Rati’s father worked in the plywood industry.

To start SIS Imports, the couple got their initial investment from their families and took up a small kitchen design store in Mumbai on rent, and imported the kitchen displays and appliances for Rs 25 lakh.

At a time when luxury kitchens were almost unheard of in India, it was unsurprising that not everyone took kindly to the business.

“People would enter the showroom in Mumbai and hurl abuse at my parents for selling a kitchen as expensive as a house