The first virtual pizza chain has landed in Berlin. Securing around €5,9 million, startup Milano Vice emerges from stealth mode to bring its experience-driven pizza brand to consumers.
In Europe alone it’s thought that more than 50 pizzas are consumed every second. It’s not surprising really, from hanging out with friends, a family night-in, office parties and team meetings to a night out to a restaurant, pizza is one of those quintessential foods that we go back to time and time again. But now, pizza is going virtual. Berlin-based Milano Vice is targeting the changing preferences of millennials and Gen-Z consumers and has just launched out of stealth after securing about €5.9 million.
The lead investor is Coefficient Capital which is joined by Speedinvest. CG Partners supported Milano Vice’s initial development and were the company’s first investor. Other angel investors are entrepreneurs and experts from the tech and hospitality industries, including Christian Gaiser (CEO and founder of NUMA Group, previously Bonial and kaufDA), Timo Meyer (Shio Capital, investor in Gorillas), Ole Strohschnieder (founder of Just Spices), David Brunier (founder of Flash Coffee), the three founders of the logistics unicorn Sennder, and the branding agency Studio Avanti.
Founded earlier this year (2022), the Berlin-based startup’s virtual food franchise concept targets a new generation of pizza-eaters who prefer handmade, sustainably produced, high-quality pizzas that are conveniently delivered to their homes and offices. It uses data and tech to enable companies to identify consumer signals which can be leveraged to develop on-trend products and optimize consumer targeting.
It’s essentially a tool that connects pizza producers to consumers, and gives them powerful data insights about their habits. Pizza marketing magic.
Julian Blessin, Partner at Speedinvest: “Milano Vice is very capital-efficiently developing a new, disruptive virtual food franchise brand that is tailor-made to meet the demand of millennials, Gen-Y and Gen-Z. As early investors, we are very excited to support Milano Vice in its next growth phase.”
It does so with high standards and pizza perfection in mind, Milano Vice selects professional kitchens and chefs as fulfilment partners. The concept is to leverage underutilized kitchens, which yields exceptional unit economics and productivity metrics. Thanks to higher margins, increased utilization of kitchen and staff, close integration into existing workflows and radically simplified processes designed for scaling, many of the pilot-phase partners were able to triple their existing sales.
In fact, during the 6-month pilot, the company signed d 25 partner restaurants in Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne.
Milano Vice’s management team consists of Rudolf Donauer, responsible for marketing and product, and Dennis Murselovic, responsible for operations and sales. Both bring many years of industry experience. The team also includes former food delivery operators from JOKR, Foodora, and Delivery Hero, some with over a decade of industry experience. This new funding will be used to expand its technological lead and offering in Germany.
Rudolf Donauer, Managing Director of Milano Vice, explained: “Our goal is to establish Milano Vice as the dominant provider of a new generation of virtual food franchise brands in Europe. The pandemic has proven the resilience of Milano Vice‘s business model: We have already generated meaningful revenue with only 25 restaurant partners, and some of our partners were able to triple their sales in that time thanks to our concept and proprietary technology.”
Franklin Isacson, Managing Partner of Coefficient Capital added: “Milano Vice has impressed us with its strategy to grow profitably and in a capital-efficient way by using the existing supply of kitchens in bakeries and restaurants. Its initial performance and product consistency during the pilot phase demonstrated its ability to connect with their consumer and deliver a very consistent product experience. Milano Vice’s business model offers attractive profitability for franchise partners and, most importantly, a differentiated experience for the consumer.”