ACE Startup Feature – AMGD
A Taste of Technology
She’s no techie herself but Li Da Foods co-founder Rita Zahara’s healthy recipes call for a good dose of technology — and the result is deliciously successful.
The ‘what’ of AMGD, a brand of Li Da Foods, seems straightforward enough. It’s an online food delivery service that sends delicious, healthy meals to people’s doorsteps. This doesn’t sound particularly ground-breaking until you find out that the startup turned its $500,000 capital into a thriving $20-million-dollar business in just one year.
That begs the real question — how?
“AMGD (which stands for Ahhmahgawd) is a food technology company with full-stack end-to-end capabilities. We’re essentially a restaurant in the clouds built on an integrated e-commerce, kitchen operations and logistics management platform,” said two-time cookbook author Rita Zahara who, in addition to being a co-founder of Li Da Foods, is also the founder and chairman of B2B media tech agency Reta Transmedia and its group of affiliate companies. She was recently honoured at the Women Entrepreneur Awards 2017 for her work.
“I believe that technology is a powerful enabler of business, especially in today’s digital economy. I may not be able to write a single line of code but I am constantly inspired by how people harness the limitless possibilities of technology to build business success. This feeds the creator in me,” she said.
Together with three co-founders, whom Rita regards as mentors, AMGD was born in January 2016. What started small and stable soon hit an invisible inflexion point. Business boomed overnight and the initial four-man team was flooded with orders. But the startup didn’t drown; it soared.
“People say we’re B2C but I think a more accurate term is C2B — because consumers are the real driving force of businesses today. In our case, we were quite literally forced to scale up to keep pace with demand. Of course, part of the reason we could pull it off is because of our technology backbone. My business philosophy is to start right or we’ll always be playing catch up. Because we designed our central kitchen to operate without a chef, we were able to scale production volume and menu variety quite effortlessly. We use process automation to break down over 100 recipes into a series of steps for our staff to follow, ensuring consistent quality and improved productivity,” revealed Rita.
AMGD also insists on maintaining its own delivery fleet to control service standards and ensure that every customer enjoys a wow-filled experience from start to end. With this recipe, the startup now enjoys a lion’s share of the healthy-food-at-home market in Singapore.
“AMGD’s vision is to enable at least one healthy meal a day for every person in as many cities in the world as possible. Overseas expansion was always part of our plan. After establishing ourselves in Singapore, we entered Hong Kong in April this year. Moving forward, we’re looking at one new city every year,” said Rita. To facilitate this, the co-founders have recently introduced AMGD Global to accept investor funding.
For a taste of AMGD, visit www.amgd.sg!
Are you a Food Tech startup? Take this opportunity to connect with corporates and SMEs at the Digital Transformation Exchange (DTE), organised by ACE! DTE is a series of knowledge-sharing events designed to help startups connect with corporates and SMEs and highlight the various innovations and technologies that are created by them. Each session, which carries a thematic sectorial focus, allows the participating startups to share about upcoming trends, opportunities and challenges in their areas of expertise. Sign up for the upcoming session which focuses on Food Tech here.