Started 4 years ago, Eat24.com, a food-delivery startup in San Francisco has now more than 150 employees, covers more than 850 U.S. cities, gets more than a million unique visitors a month, and will generate more than $150 million in sales by the end of the year 2012.
The food delivery market is growing, and fast. In Europe, Berlin food delivery startup “Delivery Hero” Just merged with Foodik, seeking more access to new international growth opportunities.
In India, BigBite, is growing fast. In Indonesia Klik-Eat can’t handle the demand from restaurants. Innovation is spurring as well. Tacocopter, a new food delivery startup in Silicon Valley, is going one giant step further, using Unmanned Drone Helicopters to deliver the food even faster to its customers.
We have met Nubi Kayode in Lagos who, in this interview, shared much more information about their plans.
Silicon Africa (SA): Good Morning, Nubi! You have just launched your new startup lazyappetite.com. What is lazyappetite?
Nubi Kayode (Nubi): Hi, Mawuna. Yes indeed! I am pretty excited about the launch of LazyAppetite.com. In a formal definition, it’s an online takeaway site to order meals from various restaurants, but for me it’s more than that – it’s a platform to order, experience and recommend meals from various restaurants. So it’s more of a network of foodies looking for a unique experience, as well as restaurants looking to provide such.
SA: How did the idea come to you? and How long you have been working on it?
Nubi: I wish I could claim credit for the idea! It all started with my friend and co-founder, Deji Opoola. He called me up a few months ago and ran the idea by me. I loved it, and we came up with the name almost immediately. We then got two more members on the team for development. From the look and feel of the site, you’d know these guys – Shope Johnson, and Kunle Adedayo, are awesome and it took them a month to develop, and are currently adding finishing touches to the mobile version.
SA: Tell us about your background.
Nubi: Hmm! Where to start from? Science student from high school, got my B.Sc Electrical Electronics Engineering from Eastern Mediterranean University, KKTC, Turkey, and got back to Nigeria for NYSC and fell in love with the tech scene. A social media guru by day at Wild Ripples, and blogger at night who recently made partner at OTEKBITS – a leading media company focused on the tech ecosystem in Nigeria. Aspiring serial entrepreneur… what else? Guess that’d do for now.
SA: Why should I use Lazyappetite, instead of calling directly a local pizza restaurant myself? How are you different?
Nubi: Interesting question. The world is going online and calling restaurants directly will soon become obsolete. For the users, Lazy Appetite gives you access to restaurants ready to serve you, thus giving you a wide variety of options and the opportunity to have a different meal experience every time.
For people who are less adventurous about eating at restaurants, we have a scheduling feature built into Lazy Appetite that allows you order the same meals without having to come on to the site. Another advantage is that you never get wrong orders delivered, as people often call in and ask for one thing and get something else.
Other features such as ratings and feedback, and more can only be possible via Lazy Appetite.
Restaurants get the opportunity to convert prospects into customers and even brand advocates based on the quality of experiences provided. The truth is there are many more reasons why Lazy Appetite is a better alternative, and we’d be rolling out these with time.
SA: Is there any acceptance for your concept? Can you give us some incidents to illustrate that?
Nubi: Lazy Appetite is essentially online retail, and with predecessors such as Konga, DealDey, Sabunta and Kasuwa (now Jumia), Lazy Appetite has equally enjoyed a level of acceptance. Whenever I have the opportunity to pitch Lazy Appetite, and give a quick demo with my iPad, I always get the ‘Really! Such a service exists?!’ reaction. Looking at the backend, we’ve also noticed a trend such that 3 of every 5 orders made on Lazy Appetite are by returning users. We are definitely building a loyal customer base.
SA: Where do you see your start up five years from now?
Nubi: In 5 years, I see Lazy Appetite as a Pan-African platform offering foodies with crazy, cool, and unique experience related to meals. In fact, it’d go from LazyAppetite.com to becoming a brand embedded in the culture of the upward mobile African. The journey starts from Lagos, to other part of Nigeria and then other major cities in Africa. I also see a lot of features been rolled out on a need basis to enhance the experience of subscribers to the platform, and partnership formed in order to make scaling plausible. I am very excited about the future.
SA: What is your revenue model? Can you throw some light on how did you fund your project? Are you looking for investors?
Nubi: We currently run on a commission-based model with the restaurants subscribing to the platform and a service charge on the successful orders. There are other revenue models we plan to put in place to keep the business profitable, while keeping all parties involved happy.
As far as funding is involved, so far it has all been raised by team members. Yes! Bootstrapping is our watch word. I belong to the ‘lean start-up’ school of thought, and we have thus designed a system that allows for different players – restaurants, users, and Lazy Appetite take up some certain responsibilities that’d keep things running.
Investors? Sure, we are open to talking to investors to scale up.
SA: As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
Nubi: Joys – I can do what I want, when I want, and where I want, but most importantly, I get to build stuff that changes how people live their lives for the better. Challenges – gratification, especially the financial type is not immediate, alongside common challenges that other entrepreneurs in this part of the world often go on about: access to funding, enabling environment for startups to grow, et al. I am however constantly looking for means to overcome these, and the fun is really in the challenge.
SA: : How big is your team? Give us some info on team composition. Number of people, their backgrounds. Are you looking at hiring?
Nubi: So we’ve got Deji Opoola, as Project Manager and in charge of sales and marketing – the traditional type. So he’s always out getting restaurants on board. I assist in that regards, with focus on online marketing from the office of Community and Social Media Manager. We’ve got a duo-team of awesome developers – Shope Johnson and Kunle Adebayo. Then there is Ahmed Adeyanju, in charge of corporate communications. He also works with me on online marketing and social media management.
The team is very fluid, and everyone spills their creative juice every now and then. As per hiring, yes, we should be doing that soon – building the sales and marketing team, as well as product development. Updates from this front will come on our Careers page.
SA: You have a great concept, and you look confident. Do you have some expansion plans to other cities or countries?
Nubi: Yes! We currently serving Lagos, but we see Lazy Appetite as Pan-African company from the get go. Like they say ‘if you make it Lagos, you are sure to make anywhere else’, so it’s first Lagos, then other major cities in Nigeria, and then African countries.
SA: What are current major challenges? How can people reading you here could help you?
Nubi: I think the major challenge is sensitization on the part of restaurants and users subscribing. We know that people that have experienced Lazy Appetite loved it and recommended it to other people. So as soon as we go past the sentiments associated with ‘online service’ in this part of the world, the better it will be for us – Lazy Appetite and those we serve.
So, if you are reading this, you can help by checking out Lazy Appetite. Use it, and if you like the experience, then tell someone about it. If you can’t use it, because there are no restaurants serving your area, then you can use the ‘Recommend A Restaurant’ link on the website and we’d get them on for you. Own A Restaurant? Get your food out there with Lazy Appetite – there is never too much of online presence.
SA: How could our readers get in contact with you?
Nubi: I am just a tweet away – @NubiKay, @LazyAppetite, but if you have more than 140 characters you can drop a message on the Facebook page or via email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll certainly get back to you.