A food delivery service founded by a UBC undergrad recently received funding from On Deck and Village Global Capital, a venture capital fund supported by Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
NNECT, founded by fifth-year Sauder student Shreyansh Manchanda, is a subscription-based food delivery service that allows students to purchase meals with friends. NNECT was one of seven Canadian startups selected for ODX, On Deck’s $100+ million global venture capital fund and accelerator.
NNECT aims to reduce food delivery costs for students, help local restaurants in the pandemic and reduce the environmental impact of food delivery.
“It started out pretty basic,” said Manchanda. “I told my friends that if you order the same dish with me, I can give you this much discount on the same thing. And it kind of blew up.”
On its first weekend, NNECT had over 300 orders just by word of mouth.
“[At that time,] I was delivering all the food myself, getting the orders and delivering them to campus and everything. We saw that this is an opportunity where we can help both the restaurants and students [in] saving a lot of money and building a sustainable business model at the same time.”
On sustainability, Manchanda emphasized that by reducing the number of delivery trips, NNECT is more sustainable than other food delivery competitors.
“We deliver hundreds of meals in just one trip, compared to Doordash or UberEats, which has one meal per trip. So we are able to reduce a lot of carbon emissions related to food delivery on campus,” said Manchanda.
Reflecting back on his entrepreneurship journey, Manchanda said it was tough to build a business when being a full-time student and being involved in extracurriculars.
He added that as a student, he had to provide assurance to his consumer base and the restaurants they order from that his service would be beneficial.
“When I picked up hundreds of orders from the restaurants and put them in my car, I could see that kind of smile on the faces of the owners … and seeing that joy on their faces is the most intrinsically motivated thing that I had.”
Manchanda said NNECT’s next goal is to expand its service to universities across Canada and then North America.
“Next is world domination,” he added.