Desert Chill is the UAE’s premier ice cream van service. Read below how Beehive have helped Desert Chill in its growth and the benefits it brought to the company.
What have you done with the funds you raised on Beehive?
We have funded twice. The first round we used the funds to acquire a competitor with a slightly different offering. We bought the vehicle, equipments and acquired the staff as well as the event and customer contacts. We rebranded the concept as a Desert Chill premium offering to service our growing demand of corporate customers. This has been a success as it has extended our offering, boosted sales revenue and improved our margins.
The second and most recent round was done at the beginning of this year and was less glamorous but is looking equally effective. We bought some engines from the factory in Germany and did some overhauling of some fleet vehicles. Our biggest challenge last year was the increasing service and maintenance costs as well as downtime which present a double financial impact. Its early days but the signs are as expected. Downtime has reduced by over 10% and Revenue is up 6% YOY.
What other support could your business use, aside from funding?
I think that SME’s could benefit from operational cash flow support. Fixed and compliance costs can be high in Dubai (often by way of PDC’s), and there are definite seasonal impacts on calendar year here. So I think a great product would be to present tenancy contracts, invoices for stock purchases or fixed costs up front and have the ability to contribute continual smaller lump sum payments monthly, with an opportunity for investors to earn a return as well. As a small business, the big bills always have a habit of arriving at the wrong time!
What are your business plans for the next 12 months?
We are having early discussions regarding franchising, and a change of the local landscape may see us venture into brick and mortar stores or kiosk offerings.
How has your relationship with Beehive impacted your financial accounting practices?
I would say that we were pretty well equipped on these fronts as an SME, but it has certainly helped me understand how to get better access to business (crowd) funding in a way that is beneficial to Small companies in many ways. I am glad I have a grasp of it now as it certainly seems like this is will be the norm for the future.
Any other comments?
We are really grateful to Beehive as they put the trust in you to know your own business and why you need the funds, but ultimately the money comes quickly and a much reduced rate compared to the banks. Its also a really positive culture where investors and businesses alike can support each other on their journeys.