Belgium’s leading ghost kitchen chain, Casper, has just raised €5 million in a Series A round. The funding was led by Slingshot Ventures with participation from serial entrepreneurs Jürgen Ingels (Smartfin), Zhong Xu & Jan Hollez (Deliverect).
Founded in 2020, Casper is a fast-growing chain of hybrid delivery and takeout-only restaurants – otherwise known as ghost or dark kitchens. The startup sells 10 quality virtual brands for different tastes, each being defined by reasonable prices and sustainable packaging. From Gloria’s baked pasta and Barney’s burgers to healthy salads, bagels, or a completely vegan brand in collaboration with The Vegetarian Butcher, there’s something for everyone on the menu. Users can order directly through the virtual restaurant or via Caspar.
Ordering quality food for home delivery is commonly a pretty social affair, and so, with Casper, you can mix and match the brands you order. It means the vegan and the carnivore are just as well-catered for the next time the gang has a takeaway night-in.
The chain of hybrid kitchens is currently active in Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven, Brussels, Liège and Bruges, and partners with the marketplaces Just Eat Takeaway, Deliveroo and Uber Eats to deliver their delicious food. The firm plans to expand to the Netherlands and France by Q3 of this year, before heading to Luxembourg and taking further international leaps.
With a focus on sustainability, and to avoid haunting the planet, Casper has a zero-waste policy and strives to work with local suppliers. The local approach also means that meals can be delivered or ready to be collected in just 30 minutes, thanks to the process-driven production kitchens where technology, food, and operations are in balance. In this whole process, product quality is key.
Unlike other ghost kitchens, Casper is very visible in the streets: no shuttered windows on a back street, but open and transparent locations, with clear and recognizable branding, technology to place walk-in orders and waiting areas for the delivery riders. A more neighbourhood-friendly ghost kitchen.
Matthias Laga, co-founder & CEO of Casper said: “Of course we are proud of what we have achieved in the past 2 years, but we realize as well that our biggest challenge is still ahead of us. Nevertheless, I’m 100% convinced the best is yet to come! Thanks to this funding we will be able to accelerate our expansion into new markets and meet the continuous and growing demand for convenience. It is our belief that the combination of our delivery-proof offering with a perfectly balanced fusion of tech expertise, building hospitality brands and operational excellence is the best way to do so. We will be opening new locations in the Benelux and France and by 2024 we plan to have 50 international locations. It’s an ambitious plan, but we are ready for it. Good thing we’re not afraid to take on big challenges; they give the best rewards!”
Tanja Kramer, Principal at Slingshot Ventures added: “We are excited to support Casper in its mission to change the online food purchasing experience and to become part of this impressive growth story. The dark kitchen market is growing rapidly, fueled by the fast adoption of online food ordering and the rise of on-demand food delivery apps. Especially Millennials and Gen Z are increasingly accustomed to ordering food from delivery-only restaurants. Casper is the leading player in Belgium and well-positioned to grow its presence internationally. We are impressed by the relentless focus on customer satisfaction, food quality and operational excellence of Matthias and his team.”