The delivery-only, virtual restaurant by David Chang, Momofuku and Expa – Ando has just closed a $7 million Series A investment round.
The online restaurant launched in New York in July and has recently launched a web app. Momofuku provides the back-of-the-house service with the culinary expertise, while Expa provides the front-of-the-house service with the delivery logistics. Ando offers NYC diners meals like the Fried Chicken, Spicy Tofu and the NY Cheesesteak.
"Mobile technology has completely transformed our daily lives, and it's certainly impacting the overall dining experience with the ease of delivery," said David Chang, co-founder of Ando in a press release. "We've never taken VC money before, and Ando was a very special case since we've always wanted to do delivery for Momofuku. The concept of Ando was planned many years ago, and we waited until we found the perfect partner, Expa, that had the right technology and logistics to deliver quality food that, when delivered, is as good or more delicious than eating something in a restaurant. Now through the Ando platform, we're starting to understand the consumer experience better and when we understand how the consumer eats the food and wants the food, then we can cook it better as well."
Does the Market Need a Service Like This?
The food delivery sector is extremely competitive nowadays, so how does Ando set itself apart from the many options available in NYC? Ando claims that the meals are high quality, tasty, and fresh.
The dishes are also tested to see if their quality stays consistent while in route to the guest. The platform provides realtime analytics and data, so Ando knows how the customer is responding to the ordering process, how the kitchen is performing, and how quick the meals are being delivered. This allows them to adapt to provide a better experience for their customers.
"The food delivery space is growing, evolving and adapting to accommodate a new generation of consumers that wants authenticity, consistent quality and a personal connection to a brand," said Hooman Radfar, co-founder and CEO of Ando in a press release. "With this new funding, we'll continue our commitment to culinary innovation, making food delicious while experimenting with ingredients, enhancing packaging and improving our backend technology to ensure the best experience upon delivery. Our goal is to grow our menu offerings and expand beyond New York, creating delicious food and pushing the limits of delivery."
Ando started off delivering lunch, but also now offers dinner during the week. It has expanded it's delivery zones to include all of Midtown East and some parts of Midtown West.
The service also recently launched Ando Labs, where customers can test new dishes and provide feedback.
With this new major funding, will Ando survive in the competitive delivery market? And is this concept scalable enough to expand to other cities?