Doormonk’s Start-Up Story

The top businesses in the world generally have a few similar qualities. According to Peter Cohan, a business writer for Inc., those qualities are; clear and enticing goals, a good understanding of their markets, smart at raising – and spending capital, a cohesive team and can adapt to change. 

If you want to see the perfect example of what that looks like at a start-up, look no further than Doormonk. We accepted them into the Start-Up Visa program in January 2021, and have exceeded our expectations in every way. 

A business created out of unfortunate circumstances and a desire to help the community do better, DoorMonk is a cutting-edge platform to help food businesses and vendors communicate seamlessly, and use data and analytics to optimize costs and food wastage. 

Read on to learn about their inspiring Start-up success story!

In the Beginning

An engineer by training, Ashutosh studied engineering for electronics & telecommunications. Doormonk is not his first start-up though. He originally manufactured lightweight automated telescopes and sold that business to the incubator and a new start-up at his previous university. 

doormonk start-up story timeline

His dad became sick and had an extended stay at a hospital. When Ashutosh was checking in on him, his father complained that the food was just okay, and this dedicated son set out to get to the bottom of it. 

First, he interviewed hospital staff, then he reached out to the hospital food vendors to see what the issues were on that end. He mainly found out that food providers weren’t able to predict the necessary inventory each week. When you have long production times and short shelf life, filling last-minute demands leads to sourcing sub-par materials. 

This intrigued Ashutosh and he decided to explore the problem further to see if it was a one-off. He reached out to other hospitals, restaurants, and entrepreneurs to see if there was an overlap in the problems that they were facing. It’s common for restaurants to struggle with narrow food margins, understanding food costs, and achieving that magical just-in-time supply chain. 

Armed with his market research and determination, Doormonk was incorporated in 2018, MVP developed within the first 2 quarters, and a Beta launched a month later. In their first month, they signed US$500,000 in contracts, and have revenue targets of $2 million this year. 

Why People Love Doormonk

Doormonk does more than just serve hospitals and restaurants, they also serve corporate offices, & educational institutions. Everyone has to eat, but if you want to provide food without the hassle of running an in-house restaurant, you can source it all out to Doormonk. 

issues affecting restaurants in North America

If you do have in-house cooking and serving staff, their platform is still of benefit. They offer real-time data and analytics to make cost-saving suggestions for your perishable inventory. They can also help with detecting fraud, and have stringent food and safety protocols. 

And vendors are just as much a client of Doormonk as the kitchens they serve. Not only do they get access to the aforementioned data and analytics to help understand what they should be growing and sourcing, but they also get access to SOPs to help them scale and meet customer expectations from the first delivery.

Doormonk’s Start-up Journey to North America

No Start-Up journey is a linear one. The Doormonk team says they did a lot of learning on the go and you never stop testing the product or learning. 

When researching their market they realized that food logistics is a global problem. They wanted to create a scaleable product from the get-go. Canada seemed like a great place to reach a global market. They could easily expand into the US and weren’t too far from Europe. 

One of the hardest parts of their Start-up journey was when investors made offers, then withdrew. Ashutosh says, “This was a tough time. We really had to learn hard lessons. Until money hits your bank account, never consider a deal done.” But, the best entrepreneurs can pivot and still thrive. As a company, they had to learn how to be extremely frugal and there were learning curves in managing the cash flow. 

Canadian commercial food sale statistics

They eventually closed their seed funding round in May 2019, raising US$100K. Today they are bootstrapped, profitable, and targeting US$ 2 Million in revenue.

Because of the varied background of the start-up team, they weren’t really sure how to test and market their original market. Now that they are making waves in India, and the fact that they already have some great North American contracts, means it’s a great time to expand. 

They came to join the TBDC Start-up Visa program for the tailored business advice and mentorship pairings. With such a large applicable market, TBDC’s incubation program will help the Doormoonk team find great new market fits and develop a sales strategy that will help them achieve sustainable growth globally.

Growing Your Start-up

Are you part of an international start-up looking to expand into the North American Market? Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC), is Toronto’s original business incubator, with an offering specifically designed to help established businesses reach their potential in the western hemisphere. Want to see if your start-up is ready? Book a call today!

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