The proliferation of delivery services gives customers plenty of options, but it means chaos for busy restaurants that must manage orders across multiple apps and channels. Many kitchens handle this by juggling several appliances at a time, one for each application. Klikit wants to save Southeast Asian food businesses from “tablet hell” by aggregating order information from all apps into one platform. Based in Singapore, the startup just came out of stealth mode with $2 million in pre-seed funding.
The round was co-led by Global Founders Capital and Wavemaker Partners, with participation from Gentree Fund, AfterWork Ventures, Reshape Ventures, Nordstar, Pentas Ventures, Moving Capital, Gojek co-founder Kevin Aluwi, NasDaily’s Nuseir Yassin, YouTuber Lazar Beam and Radi Founder fiction by Seung-yoon Lee. Strategic angel investors include executives from Gojek, YouTube and Flash Coffee.
Since its launch seven months ago, klikit’s SaaS platform, klikit Cloud, has been used to service more than $2.8 million in orders across 150 brands in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia.
Users currently include Bistro Group (the Philippine franchisee of TGI Fridays, Hard Rock Cafe and Buffalo Wild Winds, Flash Coffee, and ghost kitchen startups MadEats and Just Kitchen.
Klikit was founded in 2021 by Christopher Withers, who has extensive experience in the on-demand space—he was previously VP of purchasing at GoJek, chief strategy officer at ride-hailing platform Pathao in Bangladesh, and launched UberEats in Asia Pacific.
During the pandemic, while at GoJek, Withers moved to Australia to work remotely. He also owned and operated a ghost kitchen.
Withers told TechCrunch that he has always been fascinated by the food delivery space.
“I started my ghost kitchen because I always wanted to experience the difficulties of running a restaurant first hand, instead of sitting guessing on the sidelines or behind my laptop as I made a lot of these super app purchases,” he said.
During this time, Withers was overwhelmed by the number and cost of platforms, devices, software, advertising and social media he had to juggle. As a result, he wanted to find more efficient ways to manage them and launch new brands.
Withers explains that existing F&B software is not suitable for many delivery restaurants and cloud kitchens, and less than 2% of merchants in Asia have integrated delivery ordering with legacy point-of-sale systems. This leaves kitchens and staff managing orders across different apps and devices, which is not only time-consuming but also results in lost orders, errors, confusion and general chaos.
“Many operators refer to it as ‘tablet hell,’ and some of our customers had as many as 20+ devices—taking up an entire closet’s worth of real estate—for a single kitchen location!” Withers said.
Klikit differentiates itself from legacy POS systems, which were built for single-brand companies, by allowing restaurants and ghost kitchens to manage multiple food brands across locations and channels on a single device. Features include updating menus across all delivery apps, which klikit can do quickly because it has official API agreements with apps like GrabFood, foodpanda, GoFood and UberEats. It provides on-demand access to historical data analytics (in contrast, many F&B software systems limit data to time-limited views), including daily sales, product mixes and channel analysis.
Since many restaurants in Southeast Asia often process delivery orders via social media such as WhatsApp, SMS or voice messages, klikit also allows these orders to be added to its order dashboard to be included in its analytics.
If one of klikit’s customers has excess capacity and equipment, they can sign up for access to their virtual brand partnerships with creators and consumer brands. Klikit is now partnering with creators who have a combined 38 million followers in the Philippines and Australia to launch two “creator drops” in late 2022. Withers says klikit is connecting with top YouTubers because they have the clout to compete with fast-food giants , marketing-wise.
Klikit’s closest competitors include Deliverect and NextBite, but Withers says he believes a local startup like klikit will succeed because it can establish API partnerships with large delivery apps.
The startup’s new funding was used during stealth mode to hire 30 people in six countries. It will also use the capital for regional expansion and adding more features by building out its engineering team.
In a statement, Wavemaker Partners CEO Paul Santos said: “We see klikit solving widely unsolved problems for restaurateurs everywhere, while also creating unique solutions for creators and brands to monetize and engage with fans with completely new ways. Their vision strategically combines the converging and only growing trends in food delivery and the maker economy.”