Philippine startup MetroPlate pivots to university food deliveries, partners with its US counterpart


Food delivery startup MetroPlate launched in January offering healthy food delivery service to call center offices in the Philippines. A good idea on paper, the startup’s dreams were soon cut short by logistical hindrances. MetroPlate is now pivoting to Philippine universities as a subsidiary of US-based late-night food delivery service InstaNomz.

Prior to the pivot, MetroPlate’s focus on call center offices was aborted due to “strict administrative building codes, employee’s limitations with the use of phones and internet services, and short employee break-time,” Ibanez says.

“It was difficult to get a loyal customer base. The demand was there but the quick delivery service model didn’t seem feasible for the market. I heard about InstaNomz and was curious to find out that they were doing almost the exact same thing that we were doing. The only difference was, they only catered to undergraduate freshmen at Harvard. This idea served as a major inspiration on how we would revamp our strategy.”

MetroPlate is set to relaunch in June in select universities throughout metro Manila, such as the De La Salle University, College of Saint Benilde, and Saint Scholastica, along with other dormitories and condominiums in the surrounding localities.

US-based delivery startup in the Philippines

InstaNomz eventually pivoted away from Harvard after some conflict with the university’s administrators. The US startup has since shifted to offering its software and support to entrepreneurs who want to start their own food delivery ventures.

This the same assistance InstaNomz will give to MetroPlate. It will provide the software to make MetroPlate’s website a fully-functional ordering platform. InstaNomz’s co-founder Lance Katigbak will become company’s the head of coordination and implementation in the Philippines, where he will provide MetroPlate with business support.

Despite the shift, Ibanez says its business model – taking commission on each meal sold through their platform – will remain the same. He adds:

“Currently, we plan on focusing our efforts around university-centered communities, then slowly expand our reach one community at a time.”

MetroPlate is set to relaunch with five local restaurant partners offering healthy meals and will continue to add restaurants as it scales its operations.

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