In the heart of Egypt, a culinary revolution is brewing, and it’s not taking place in the kitchens of high-end restaurants, but rather in the realm of technology and sustainability. Meet , an ingenious startup on a mission to rewrite the narrative of food wastage.
Startup: tackling food waste with innovation
In the bustling landscape of food apps, Tekeya stands out as a champion against food wastage. Founded by the dynamic, award-winning entrepreneur Menna Shahin, the app serves as an online marketplace for food outlets to sell their surplus and slow-moving items at discounted rates, effectively combating food wastage.
This brilliant concept not only helps businesses reduce waste but also enables people to access affordable, fresh, and intact surplus food. As Shahin puts it:
We serve to help restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and other food industries sell their fresh and intact surplus food to people at a discount, rather than throw it out.
The app’s reach extends to both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) transactions, reshaping how food providers and consumers interact in the digital age.
Origin: where it all began
The idea for Tekeya came about in a surprisingly simple way: Shahin’s desire for sushi. One evening, she and her husband ventured to a high-end restaurant that, to their shock, threw out a significant amount of perfectly good sushi right before their eyes. Their request to take the food home was denied, and it was this moment of frustration that triggered the first spark of what would become Tekeya.
The name itself, Tekeya, carries ancient resonance, reflecting a place of support and generosity. Shahin, drawing inspiration from Middle Eastern roots, sought a name with cultural significance and opted for the one connected to tradition of support, weaving a powerful narrative into the heart of the startup.
The initial venture started in 2019, but came to a quick halt due to technical unfitness of the app. Cue in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the venture was back on track in spring 2022, with its tipping point happening in March 2023. From there on it’s been nothing but a steep upward trajectory for Tekeya, which is currently the 7th top food & beverage app in Egypt.
Solution: a triple-impact mission
Tekeya is on a mission to tackle food waste, a major contributor to climate change. Shahin’s passion for the environment is evident as she explains,
We are a profitable business, but our main cause is that every single transaction has an impact on the environment. Our value proposition is triple-fold: providers generate extra profit, users save money, and collectively, we protect the environment.
The app provides a win-win solution for both businesses and consumers. Food providers can list surplus or slow-moving items, including those near expiry, for discounted prices. Consumers, on the other hand, get to enjoy affordable, quality food and contribute to environmental conservation.
Tekeya’s success lies not only in its mission to combat food waste but also in its technological finesse. Their ingenuity in recognizing and developing seamless and user-friendly platform for both users and food providers alike is what sets them apart and has proven instrumental in their rapid ascent.
Tribe: a supportive community
Shahin found a powerful ally in Infobip Startup Tribe. The connection was swift, and the partnership fruitful. She praises Infobip’s support, stating,
I feel like I’m a part of a community. If I need anything, I will ask someone from the Infobip Startup Tribe. There’s a lot of value I got from it.
From the product perspective, Tekeya utilizes a range of Infobip products to enhance its operations. Among them are SMS for OTPs (One-Time Passwords) and email campaigns, and they are gradually exploring features like Moments for their marketing efforts. These tools have not only improved the efficiency of their platform but also helped in growing their customer base.
Shahin’s involvement with Infobip also extends to the Shift Conference. Attending Shift was a departure from the norm for Shahin, who is no stranger to international conferences. However, Shift offered something different. She says,
I enjoyed it. It’s how a conference should be. It was fun, not too serious as other events usually are, and the content was great.
What’s next: scaling impact
Tekeya’s ambitions are as grand as its mission: by the end of 2025 they want to save 50 million meals from going to waste. While they may be at the early stages of this ambitious journey, the trajectory is promising, with 200,000 meals already rescued. As Shahin states,
It’s not just the number for us, it’s about doubling our impact…saving food is our core business and our main purpose.
Tekeya’s journey from ideation to impact is marked by resilience, learning, and a deep commitment to its cause. As the app continues to grow and expand its reach, it stands as a shining example of how technology can be harnessed to make a positive difference in the world. With a passionate founder at the helm and a supportive community backing them, the future looks bright for this revolutionary solution. Keep an eye on Tekeya; it’s bound to leave a mark on the world. 🤘
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