Sweetheart Kitchen Raises US$17.7 Million In Series C Funding Round To Launch New Brands And Kitchen Units Across MENA

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Cloud kitchen operator Sweetheart Kitchen has successfully secured €15 million (US$17.7 million) in a Series C funding round backed by strategic investors, led by the company’s founder and CEO Peter Schatzberg.

As a delivery-only multi-brand virtual kitchen, Schatzberg notes that the Dubai-based company is keen to invest their funding into supply chain technology, food design and hiring talent, as they had previously done, and which they plan to continue to do so. “Scaling units is certainly one important objective for us, but we are also investing in streamlining our processes and systems to achieve profitability.”

As a company that is only 15 months old, it’s noteworthy to point out its impressive milestones. The startup (which, according to a Wamda report, is backed by Germany’s Delivery Hero) has previously raised €21 million ($24.8 million) in a previous round. Thus, as of date, the startup has raised a total of $43 million. The brand boasts a portfolio of 30 brands, such as Wingo, Avocado Bravo and Affordabowls, among others.

That’s not to say that cloud kitchen startup hasn’t had their fair share of hurdles during the pandemic. Schatzberg comments, “Almost overnight, we pivoted from scaling volume and units, to demonstrating profitability through aggressive cost-cutting measures that would ordinarily take place in a mature enterprise.” They had to close live units in Kuwait, as well as make reductions, and lose cash flow as they were waiting to open a number of completed units, but was vacant due to citywide lockdowns. He adds, “Any incremental revenue we might have received as a function of the pandemic was more than offset by the various costs and challenges that the pandemic

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Three Pasifika churches in Horowhenua get renovation funding

The Samoan Methodist church has been granted $500,000 of funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for renovations.

David Unwin/Stuff

The Samoan Methodist church has been granted $500,000 of funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for renovations.

Three Pasifika churches will be warmer and better equipped to support the Horowhenua community, thanks to some government funding.

The Free Church of Tonga, Samoan Methodist Church, and the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa received a total of $1.46 million from the Provincial Growth Fund as part of the Fale Lotu Connections Project.

The funding aims to improve facilities for communities around the country and create jobs as part of the Government’s Covid-19 response and recovery plan.

Mayor Bernie Wanden said enhancing the visibility of the churches would bring greater community pride for the district’s growing Pacific population.

* $500,000 funding for Timaru’s Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
* Invercargill’s oldest operating church set for an upgrade through the Provincial Growth Fund
* Coronavirus: Auckland churches rally together as Covid-19 spreads in community

The Free Church of Tonga in Levin has been granted $461,172 for renovations.

David Unwin/Stuff

The Free Church of Tonga in Levin has been granted $461,172 for renovations.

It would also create potential for more community and inter-regional events.

The project was expected to create up to 10 jobs, with a focus on working with local subcontractors, tradespeople and suppliers.

Free Church of Tonga Fale Lotu Connections Project representative Rob Fifita-Tovo said church members were “over the moon” about the renovations.

“The church is the highest priority for the people of Tonga and is a place where members spend a lot of time together.

“Having the church and hall renovated means we’ll have modern, warm facilities that will provide more options for hosting events and other congregations.”

The Free Church of Tonga received $461,172, which would enable the church to install heat pumps and insulation, better lighting and new windows and doors.

It would also repair or replace the

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Improvements to funding system for voluntary groups set to be agreed

Proposals to change the way the council funds West Lothian voluntary organisations are set to be agreed.

The Voluntary Organisations Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel (PDSP) recommended that improvements be put in place to the way local organisations are funded from 2021/22.

This will now go to the Council Executive for final approval.

A working group was established between council officers and third sector representatives to develop a joint approach over a new funding model. 

The new approach is a mix of interim funding for areas of work that are part of transition to a commissioning or Service Level Agreement approach and direct grants available to local organisations focused on the key issues currently facing our communities.

Executive councillor for voluntary organisations, Kirsteen Sullivan, said: “The voluntary sector in West Lothian does a fantastic job, supporting the needs of our communities.

“This new approach to funding has been developed in partnership with local voluntary organisations, to help us work together to respond to the challenges we face in West Lothian.

“The impact of Covid-19 has affected many local residents, changing their needs and how best we can work to support them.

“The response from the West Lothian voluntary sector to this has been amazing, and these changes will support them to help their communities going forward.”


Proposed arrangements for 2021/22 will see interim transitional grants of £586,004 for specific organisations to support their ongoing valuable work while the new SLAs are put in place or a commissioning process is carried out.

A new £400,000 Third Sector Community Support Fund 2021/22 is also proposed, which will open up the application process to ensure it is available to all third sector organisations, to help address the key issues facing our communities as we move through the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Big Santa Clara housing complex and working farm get key funding

SANTA CLARA — A unique mixed-use project of affordable homes and a working farm proposed for Santa Clara has landed key financing from a state bond, clearing the way for a construction start next year, the developers said.

Agrihood, which will consist of 361 homes and an urban farm across the street from the Westfield Valley Fair mall, has obtained $50 million in tax-exempt bonds from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, Core Cos., the developer of the Santa Clara project, said.

“Our success in securing bond financing reflects the importance of the Agrihood in providing stable, sustainable housing,” said Vince Cantore, a vice president of development with Core Cos.

The 361 new homes in Agrihood will include 181 that will be offered at below-market rates. Of the 181 affordable homes, 165 will be set aside for low-income seniors.

Along with the housing, Agrihood will also offer an urban farm, a cafe, a community room, and learning shed.

“Creating communities like Agrihood that have been intentionally designed to combine high-density living, social services, and access to healthy produce are needed now more than ever,” Cantore said.

Construction should begin in 2021, Core Cos. said.

Agrihood can also help address at least some uncertainties and health worries ushered in by the coronavirus, Core Cos. said.

“The focus on our residents’ health and wellness is incredibly important in these challenging times,” the developer said Wednesday.

Proposals had emerged as early as 2005 for affordable homes on that site, which for a number of years had been used for agricultural research by the University of California.

Neighbors, however, opposed the notion of affordable homes on the property and the outcry torpedoed the 2005 proposal.

Now, however, with a project groundbreaking in view for some time during the first three months of 2021, those

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New funding expands Home HeadQuarters grant, loan programs for homeowners

Syracuse, N.Y. – Local officials today announced the expansion of grant and loan programs to help homeowners pay for repairs or renovations. The programs are administered by Home HeadQuarters, a nonprofit housing organization.


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Covid-19 emergency home repair grants: Bank of America is providing $100,000 to beef up this grant program, which provides income-eligible homeowners with up to $2,000 for emergency repairs such as replacing hot water tanks, repairing furnaces, and addressing other quality of life and safety issues. To qualify, you must have lost a job or substantial work hours because of the coronavirus pandemic. Home HeadQuarters said it already has more than 125 people on a waiting list.

Get more information here.

Solvay/Geddes home renovation loans: Homeowners throughout Geddes can now get loans of up to $25,000 for home renovations. The loans carry interest at 1% and are repayable over 10 years. They can be used for interior or exterior work and are available to all town residents regardless of income.

There is $2.3 million available in the loan fund, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced today. The money comes from Empire State Development, the state economic development agency, as part of a $30 million revitalization program announced in 2014 for Solvay and the west shore of Onondaga Lake.

Previously, the loans were only available in the village of Solvay, were capped at $15,000, could only be used for exterior work, and were repayable over seven years.

In addition to loans, low- and moderate-income homeowners may qualify for grants to cover 25% of their improvements. Landlords can get loans at 5% interest for rental properties.

Get more information here.


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