Brussels, 18 November 2021
- Pitaya, the restaurant chain inspired by Thai street food, is following through on its rapid growth plan to open 70 restaurants in the Benelux countries over the next 7 years.
- This Thursday sees the launch of the second round of fundraising organised by BeeBonds, with the aim of raising EUR 833,000 by early December.
Last January, Pitaya had just opened 2 restaurants (in Brussels and Liège) in the middle of Covid and was seeking investors to kick-start its ambitious growth plan: to float the chain to 70 restaurants in 7 years in the Benelux, including 30 in Belgium. The 1.3 million raised at the start of the year was used to open 2 restaurants (in Namur and Antwerp), as well as to assemble the team, prepare for the opening of four other restaurants in the short term, and acquire the master franchise in the Netherlands. Pitaya has also signed two major contracts with a franchisee in Flanders and the Netherlands. Launched today, the second part of the fund-raising (around EUR 800,000) will, as planned, support Pitaya's further development.
Since 20 October, people have been flocking to the new Pitaya restaurant, ideally located at the foot of the Antwerp Tower on De Keizerlei, one of Belgium's busiest pedestrian thoroughfares! The 4the Pitaya restaurant, whose cuisine is inspired by Thai street food, inaugurates the chain's development in Flanders.
Two directly-operated openings and one franchise follow by the end of the year, and Pitaya has just signed a major franchise agreement to open 11 restaurants in Flanders, including 4 in early 2022 in Ghent, Mechelen, Leuven and Antwerp.
Over the border, Pitaya is also in the starting blocks: a first company-owned restaurant will open in early 2022 in Luxembourg and another in the Countries-Bas in the spring, and a franchise agreement has been signed for the future opening of 14 restaurants.
With its spectacular flame cooking in large woks, Pitaya has a lot going for it. Its success is based on its relevance to new consumer habits, particularly among young people: the trend is for easy (local, fast and simple to order via apps), good (fresh and tasty), cheap and friendly eating. A concept that has held up particularly well throughout the pandemic.
Marco Tessaro, CEO and co-founder of AlphaSeed, Pitaya's master franchisee in the Benelux countries: "What we've been doing over the last few months is preparing for the tsunami of restaurant openings scheduled in our strategic plan. We've recruited a team of highly motivated young professionals and put in place the tools and processes to manage our accelerated growth. We have also acquired the Pitaya master franchise for the Netherlands. And it's all thanks to the more than 260 crowdlending investors who believed in our project, and whom we'd like to thank sincerely. Today, we are once again counting on investors to 'lend us the means' to continue implementing our project to reach a total of 22 restaurants by the end of 2022."
Joël Duysan, CEO of BeeBonds We are closely monitoring the successful progress of this entrepreneurial project, which is helping to revitalise town centres and boost local employment. We have designed this fundraising in two parts to match the timing of Pitaya's business plan and to raise the funds at the right times. This second part is being carried out on the same terms as the first. For investors, the return is very attractive, at 8% gross per annum over 4 years".
Details of the fundraising
It is aimed at private investors and legal entities.
Interested investors will find all the practical information they need on the BeeBonds website : www.beebonds.com/pitaya
- The objective is to reach approximately EUR 833.000 EUR (i.e. a maximum of 2 MEUR in total for the 2 tranches, the 1st being 1.167 MEUR), lent for a term of 4 years, with an annual yield of 8%.
- The second part of the BeeBonds fundraising will be used to finance the opening of 8 restaurants in 2021 and 2022. Additional openings are planned in collaboration with franchisees. In total, the plan is to reach 22 restaurants by the end of 2022: the opening :
- Belgium: 10 restaurants (including 2 directly-operated in Flanders and 8 franchised);
- Luxembourg: 2 restaurants (1 company-operated and 1 franchised); and
- in the Netherlands: 3 restaurants (including 1 directly-operated and 2 franchised).
- The entry ticket for the fund-raising is €1,000.
BeeBonds is an alternative financing platform approved by the FSMA (Autorité des Services et Marchés Financiers) that puts investors (individuals or legal entities) in direct contact with project sponsors looking for additional financing of between €500k and €5M in quasi-equity.
Its experienced team is made up of financial professionals from the stock market world.
Its added value is to democratise access to projects usually reserved for professional investors, with the same quality of analysis.
For each of the 34 projects already funded, BeeBonds has donated a beehive to a beekeeper; the beehive symbolising the model of participatory funding supported by the platform. www.beebonds.com.
About Alpha Thaï Benelux and AlphaSeed
Alpha Thaï Benelux S.A. is a subsidiary of the Belgian group Alphaseed, Pitaya's master franchisee in the Benelux AlphaSeed is a Belgian investment platform specialising in the growth of concepts in the restaurant sector. Its experienced team is made up of professionals from the finance, food & beverage and fast-food sectors.
As far as Pitaya is concerned, the aim is to open 70 restaurants in the Benelux countries over the next seven years: 30 in Belgium, 35 in the Netherlands and 5 in Luxembourg. One third will be directly operated and two thirds will be (sub)franchised. www.alphaseed.eu
Pitaya (https://pitaya.be) offers both traditional and creative cuisine, inspired by that served on the streets of Bangkok. With woks prepared à la minute in front of the customer, fast service and an average bill of less than €15 p.p. including drinks.
Pitaya was founded in Bordeaux in 2010 by a man who loved Thailand. It has been a huge success in France and other countries, with over 119 restaurants. https://pitaya.be/