My takes on the Take Eat Easy shutdown
Today Take Eat Easy, one of the flagship startups in the Belgian ecosystem, announced that they are filing for judicial restructuring after 3 years of execution.
Reactions in the #betech scene are not always supportive and tend to overshadow the positives of their journey.
One of the great future impacts that Take Eat Easy had on the Belgian ecosystem is the 160 employees that went through the rapid growth of the company. They had the chance to live an accelerated program on how to bring a company from 10 employees to 160 within less than 3 years. And that is from an HR, Operational and Technical perspective. I can see other companies like Menu Next Door directly profiting from this pool of talents (they already have a big chunk of the Djump team) and I’m waiting for a future Take Eat Easy mafia to come.
It takes a few generations of entrepreneurs to build the ecosystem and failures from one generation help to avoid mistakes for the other. With the rapid iteration of those startups we can already see the positive impacts of ex-entrepreneurs joining new startups and bringing them to a global/european market quicker than the previous one. They also bring a stronger network that has more and more trust in our ecosystem.
Mostly anyone that has been in Brussels over the last 2 years knows the brand Take Eat Easy. It’s been incredible how the team was able to have an impact on the city and build a brand that will last. I know a few entrepreneurs from the 2000 crazy period that failed with their startups and I’m always stunned by how lasting the impact of their companies is.
One key aspect of startups is to have an impact on their industry and Take Eat Easy definitely changed a part of the foodtech industry in Europe and will be remembered for that.
Operate in different countries
From the graphs shared by Adrien Roose on his farewell post we can see that Belgium was only about 10–15% of their monthly orderings. The rest were in other European countries. We know that Belgium is a small market and we usually hear that it’s impossible to make a B2C venture from Belgium. I believe that Take Eat Easy showed us a different story.
From Belgium we can access such a great market around us, being able to bootstrap it quickly before moving operations over there. We have in many ways a cultural (multilingual) and geographical (transports) advantage to grow in Europe.
Take Eat Easy raised about $18M from London and Berlin based VCs after a seed round from a local fund. It was definitely not the highest round in the Belgian ecosystem but one of the highest in the B2C sector. Most of the Belgian companies with high investment rounds are focused on B2B technologies like Showpad, Collibra, Odoo,…
Again we hear so many times that if you want to start a B2C company you should move to the US. Being able to bring $16M mostly spent on talents in Brussels and Paris is an achievement in itself.
Thank you to the founders who had the guts to go all in. And a big cheers to the team that went through this incredible journey, all the best for the future! I’m eagerly waiting for the positive outcomes that Take Eat Easy will have in our ecosystem.