From Domino’s to Domination
Kian Salehi began his journey in the food delivery industry soon after immigrating with his family from Iran to Minneapolis in 1985. Kian’s dad worked as a delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza, and worked his way up to eventually become a successful franchisor. From a young age, Kian was involved in the family business. He started out folding pizza boxes in the back of the shop and ended up managing one of the company’s highest volume stores.
With his entrepreneurial spirit ignited, Kian went on to study economics at the University of Minnesota. He became friends with another go-getter, Arash Allaei, a computer science major. After graduation, the friends went their separate ways to launch their careers. Arash began developing e-commerce start-ups, and Kian became an analyst for a hospitality-focused investment and development company.
Reunited and it feels so good.
The pair reconnected in 2007 and they soon realized that together their ambition and talents could make for a dynamic duo. They founded Kasa Capital, a company to build and buy tech-focused startups. Working seven days a week—and not without the occasional heated debate—Kian and Arash grew their self-funded venture. They acquired multiple e-commerce sites that sold various products from car parts to poker chips and paintball guns.
In 2010, Kian and Arash launched Crowd Cut, a daily deal business (similar to Groupon) in both Minneapolis and Atlanta. And as their subscriber base grew, so did a new idea: the friends recognized a need in their hometown of Minneapolis for a restaurant delivery service that provided a better experience for both customers and restaurants. And so, in 2012, Bite Squad was born.
The rest is history.
Bite Squad began with 17 restaurant partners and five delivery drivers. Today, the on-demand service exists in more than 375 cities nationwide with 11,000 restaurant partners, 10,000 drivers and nearly one million active diners. Its growth has come through a combination of acquisitions, and organically in some markets.
In late 2018, Kian and Arash sold Bite Squad to Waitr, and together the joint companies are a leading restaurant platform for online ordering and food delivery across underserved markets throughout the United States.