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A US-based food technology platform has announced a new $ 100 million Saudi joint venture targeting 550 outlets by 2026, with the first launching in Riyadh early next year.

The Creation of Culinary Communities (C3) Arabia has been valued at $ 100 million and will be 49% owned by parent company C3, with Saudi investment firm WK Holding holding the remainder.

Launched in 2019 by American serial entrepreneur Sam Nazarian, C3 currently operates approximately 250 food service stores across the United States. This year, the company also launched the Citizens Go app, which allows users to order from multiple restaurants as part of a single order.

C3’s expansion in Saudi Arabia will be fully funded by Smart Food Holding, a division of WK Holding.

Layla Abuzaid, Founder and CEO of WK Holding, said, “C3’s expansion across Saudi Arabia will democratize haute cuisine by owning the food technology space in the region and we will assemble a premier hospitality center. order in the Kingdom for the region, and for the world. We will unlock local talent, celebrate our vibrant culinary culture and export globally. “

C3’s culinary brand stable already includes chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Dario Cecchini, Katsuya Uechi, Dani Garcia, Martin Heierling, Michael Israel, Vincenzo Rossy and Romain Fornell.

Nazarian said, “International expansion is the key to C3’s growth and there is no better partner to take us to the influential Saudi Arabian market.

“Through this partnership, we are excited to introduce C3’s popular digital restaurant brands such as Umami Burger, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice, Kumi, Sa’moto, and more to the Saudi community.

The C3 Arabia partnerships aim to bring 40 brands to Saudi Arabia and the first, Citizens Food Hall, will open in Riyadh in the first quarter of next year.

In the long term, the joint venture plans to open 30 locations in the first year and reach 550 branded locations across the region in five years, including food halls, self-service outlets, drive-thru and mobile delivery services.

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