US-based SFIO to expand Epiphany Cafe to new markets with Dubai HQ

By Salma C, Intern Reporter
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SFIO Epiphany Cafe
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New York-based global investment holding company Starfleet Innotech (SFIO) has recently announced a series of expansions projects for their food and beverage businesses across new markets including the Middle East and Malaysia with the newly set up regional headquarters in Dubai.

Over the next two years, the company aims to launch at least 100 licensed outlets, establish centralized commissaries for their service and strike strategic partnerships with convenience stores to increase brand awareness.

SFIO will soon be converting its flagship mall kiosk concept for cafe fare ‘Hungry Dudes’ into locations for their F&B business, Epiphany Cafe. By the end of 2023, SFIO plans to have flagship sites for Epiphany Cafe in 10 major regions.

SFIO recently opened its regional headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, following the successful completion of its registration in Dubai. This office will oversee the conglomerate’s growth in the region, beginning with negotiations with key distributors for the company’s Gorgeous Coffee products.

SFIO’s Dubai team is now conducting market research and feasibility studies, paving the way for Epiphany Cafe’s entrance into the Middle East. This regional office will also serve as the remote hub for SFIO’s technology division, managing the conglomerate’s subscription-based software and hardware offerings, such as the Neurosky health monitoring wearables, that the company recently secured exclusive distribution rights for the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Jeths Lacson, CEO of SFIO stated that “We kicked off this quarter with the announcement that 2022 will be the year we begin expanding aggressively. Not even halfway through the quarter, we’ve already made significant progress entering two new markets with our F&B offerings.”

The CEO further added that “We’re excited about all the immediate growth we’re seeing, both in terms of global footprint and shareholder value. But we want to ensure this growth is sustainable in the long term. So we’re investing heavily in understanding the markets we’re entering.”

To further facilitate that growth, SFIO is also building out the capacities of its Philippines-based technology division. Mr. Richard Prodigalidad, who leads SFIO’s technology efforts, describes this division as the “scaffolding supporting this period of hyper-growth”.

Mr. Prodigalidad remarked that “Right now, we’re expanding in multiple important directions. We’re entering new markets, while also striking partnerships to fund and accelerate those expansions. Behind all that is a global team, operating across time zones and various markets. The only way to ensure this is all scalable is through technology.”

The technology division’s learning management system is designed to consolidate and streamline the training resources for businesses like Epiphany Cafe. Catering to the brands’ franchisees and employees across different markets, this digital learning platform replaces traditional training methods, allowing for more affordable, scalable, and localized onboarding processes.

In addition to being a knowledge hub for Epiphany Cafe’s franchise operations, these platforms will also see use across SFIO’s other units, offering on-demand access to the entrepreneurship master classes of the Global Academy and training courses for the real estate division’s agents.

“Having a platform like this allows us to grow rapidly while ensuring the quality of our operations and our workforce, keeping us aligned around latest developments and shared values. Eventually, we’ll be developing this proprietary learning management system into a subscription service for other organizations like SMEs that want to scale their knowledge sharing, continuous learning, and training processes. We’re planning to roll out this subscription service by the third quarter of this year,” Mr. Prodigalidad added.

In the meantime, SFIO’s learning management system will be servicing new and existing Epiphany Cafe locations across New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, and the United States as early as Q2 2022.

Related: UAE fintech Pyypl raises $11mn to fuel its GCC & African expansion plans


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