After Walida, Not So Dark launches Pidz on vegan pizza and prepares a big fundraiser

The dark kitchen specialist, which completely overhauled its model in 2021, 100% around the license, successfully launched the delivered couscous brand Walida, alongside Gad Elmaleh’s mother, Régine. And this week is preparing to add a 7th vegan brand signed Pidz to its menu. An acceleration before a new fundraising planned for this first half and ambitions to open 1,000 virtual restaurants in 2022.

Just 6 months after closing its own 9 ghost kitchens in France and Spain to switch to 100% licensing, the two founders of Not So Dark, Clement Benoit and Alexander Haggai, rub their hands. The bet was more than daring, even risky, to start from scratch only a few months after having raised 20 M€ around a project! Exit therefore the own production tools and make way for partnerships by installing, under license, their brands with independent restaurateurs, chains or groups of restaurants to operate them in delivery. Good pick, the results are there. They have now exceeded the activity before the summer of 2021 with more than €1.7 million in monthly turnover and are actively pursuing their momentum with new ambitious prospects. Indeed, Clément Benoît confirms to snacking.fr the project of 1,000 virtual restaurants for a turnover of 70 M€, at the end of 2022 in France and Belgium where Not So Dark has just opened its first branches in Brussels. ” We have chosen to leave active brands with high potential and easier to operate in order to put others to sleep. “. Enough to display, from the end of last January, 40 cities on the board and nearly 150 restaurants already in the portfolio, confirms the co-founder who mentions 25 to 30% growth per month.

Walida, a box with already 28 cities in 2 months

Among the brands that have the wind in their sails, and which are operated by Not So Dark today, there are the historical Como Kitchen of course, but also Gaia, Coquillettes-Oui Mamanjust like those launched in 2021 Vegedal and V-Tacos. But also and above all, since the end of January, the brand Walida imagined alongside the mother of Gad Elmaleh (a friend of Clément), Regine Elmaleh, around the couscous. To her, the recipe, the generosity, the quality of a homemade couscous in a chicken, merguez, lamb or even vegetarian or vegan version! At the start-up, the operational, human, logistical and tech resources to place this “virtual restaurant”, exclusively via Deliveroo, with restaurants! ” The strength of this new brand, driven by social networks in particular, as well as the commitment, are exceptional “, explains Clément Benoît who insists, more generally, on the speed of propagation of his brands, which are now easily available and everywhere in France, in small towns as well as in the largest agglomerations.

“Clusters of brands like us are a real asset for platforms which quickly boost their local potential and can set up in smaller towns”.

From €299/month for restaurants

According to the founder of this foodtech, it is a boon for restaurateurs, whether independent or chain. Because, without entry fees, and against a subscription from €299/month + 30% commission (including those of the platform), professionals have access to all the know-how and the strike force of NSD. Enough to seriously boost a business, adds Benoît, who cites as an example the performance of the No. 1 restaurateur in his network who, today, through 3 brands, generates nearly 160 K€/month of activity.

In the coming days, the startup will launch its 7e brand, Pidz, a vegan pizza to compose that should quickly find its place in a busy pizza landscape. With several hundred license applications each month, the startup, which is preparing a big fundraiser, has reason to remain optimistic for the months to come in a market that is constantly gaining momentum and recomposing itself.

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