Tekeya: Repurposing Excess Food with the Click of a Button
Merlin Chacko
SME Stories

Tekeya: Repurposing Excess Food with the Click of a Button

Menna Shahin envisions a world where surplus food is no longer wasted. For today's SME story, read about Tekeya, an Egyptian startup employing technology to address the food waste challenge in the MENA region.

In a world where one-third of the food produced goes to waste, the issue of food sustainability has become more critical than ever. Mountains of perfectly edible food end up in landfills, contributing to environmental degradation and economic inefficiency. 

The urgency of this global challenge prompted Menna Shahin, an Egyptian entrepreneur, and Maxim Haartsen, a Dutch entrepreneur to embark on a mission that would not only tackle the issue head-on but also redefine the way we perceive excess food. In 2022, they founded Tekeya, a revolutionary Egyptian startup that stands at the intersection of technology, sustainability, and compassion.

The multi-faceted approach 

Tekeya is a first-of-its kind mobile application; a user-friendly platform designed to make discounted food products easily accessible to consumers. But at its core, it’s more than just a marketplace.

“Tekeya is a revolutionary social enterprise with a mission to save the planet by combatting overproduction, reducing food loss, and food waste," shares Menna Shahin. “We call it a triple win - extra profit for providers, saving money for users, while everyone saves the environment at the same time”. 

The startup collaborates with restaurants and businesses that share its commitment to environmental sustainability. These partners contribute their surplus, unsold food to Tekeya, which is then made available on the application at discounted prices or offered for free to charitable organizations. It’s a strategic alliance that mutually benefits everyone involved, while tackling food waste. 

An app to the rescue 

Their revolutionary application is patented in Egypt and is available to download on Android and iOS devices. The app typically features a list of currently available and subsidized products, providing users the ability to to select a range of items, with almost a 50% reduction in cost.

Talking about the application, Menna believes user experience is critical to their digital platform: “Tekeya is all about convenience for food providers and users. All new features will support better user journey, automation, and adding some fun elements like gamification”.

Raising awareness among consumers is pivotal to their mission and they interweave this aspect into the user experience. “Tekeya aims to inform, educate, and generate supportive statistics to encourage the public to engage with its mission and participate in ethical consumption in the easiest, most convenient way: with the click of a button”.  

Numbers speak of the impact

Since its establishment, Tekeya has grown exponentially, boasting over 250 providers. In an impressive display of impactful numbers, the founder shares that their startup has saved 200,000 meals in Egypt alone. 

These statistics tell a compelling story of success that has only just begun. Tekeya has saved 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions, underscoring the positive environmental impact of its mission. These milestones are not achieved in isolation; partnerships with renowned companies like P&G and Hero demonstrate the collaborative spirit that Tekeya embodies. Together, they support the cause of saving surplus food and redirecting it to charities, amplifying the social impact of the company. 

Eyes set on MENA 

On an exciting note, Menna announces that Tekeya is preparing to launch in the UAE. This marks a significant milestone in the startup’s journey as their impact extends beyond the borders of Egypt. This expansion will also enable them to attract more partnerships and simultaneously tackle the food waste crisis of the MENA region. 

Discussing their long-term vision, Tekeya aims to save 5,000,000 meals in the duration of the next three years. In order to ensure their commitment to this incredible goal, the startup also has expansion plans across Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries in their pipeline. 

To enhance the reach of their brand, Tekeya is establishing strategic partnerships and leveraging the power of targeted marketing campaigns that can attract large-scale support from consumers as well as stakeholders. 

The startup and its technology is a conduit; its effectiveness and success is attributed to the collective efforts of people and organizations who want to make a veritable difference to the food crisis. “We believe in the power of collaborative community initiatives to successfully tackle and solve the environmental and economic problems faced today”, affirms Menna.