How Dilip Rao Uses Tech to Help Fight Childhood Hunger

Helping companies do social good with food

Dilip Rao is an immigrant, and after a life-changing experience, he decided to launch a food ordering platform to address childhood hunger. 

Rao is the co-founder and CEO of Sharebite, a food ordering platform built exclusively for workplaces. The company mainly serves firms in the law, architecture, accounting, and tech industries. 

Dilip Rao
Dilip Rao.

Sharebite

Sharebite was founded in 2015, and the company has a team of about 60 employees. Each order placed through Sharebite’s platform results in a donation made to City Harvest to help alleviate childhood hunger in local communities. The company offers individual, group, or catering orders. Since its inception, Sharebite has raised nearly $24 million in venture capital. 

"Sharebite’s mission is to help align the incentives for the private sector to undertake the burden of social good," Rao told Lifewire in a phone interview. "We’re doing it in a way where we’re able to fulfill that sustainably."

Quick Facts

  • Name: Dilip Rao
  • Age: 39
  • From: A small village in India
  • Random delight: "If you took me to a karaoke spot, I’d have no problem spending all day singing."
  • Key quote or motto: "Commit yourself to a higher purpose and everything will fall into place."

A Life-Changing Experience

Dao moved to the US at a young age and grew up in New York City. He said he’s had an "entrepreneurial bug" since he was a kid, having tried his hand at various hustles and small ventures dating back to fourth grade. Rao went through a life-changing experience in 2014 when he was hit by a car while crossing the street. It was during this time that Rao started to lean into his purpose. 

"The recovery process following this incident is where I had time to reflect on who I was, what purpose I wanted to serve, and the problems I wanted to leverage from my experiences to help solve," Rao said. 

Rao met Mohsin Memon during his time at the Columbia Business School. The pair bonded on one singular vision to make a leverageable impact on society. Rao said Sharebite, the company he and Memon started, is a reflection of that. Rao’s main inspiration behind the company came from situations he saw as a child in India. 

"Like most entrepreneurs will tell you, if you believe enough in your vision and have a tangible game plan to solve real problems for your customers in a meaningful manner, keep going," Rao said.  

"Most importantly, our corporate clients have been our most vocal advocates, and that has always been our biggest advantage."

Paying It Forward 

Rao said it was difficult to raise capital in the early days of launching his company because people didn’t see what he saw. Instead of getting discouraged, Rao and Memon surrounded themselves with people who believed in their mission, many of whom are still a part of Sharebite’s team today. 

"As we continued to build, we captured the attention of some of the most prominent investors who have also been incredibly supportive of our vision," Rao said. "Most importantly, our corporate clients have been our most vocal advocates, and that has always been our biggest advantage."

Sharbeite has raised $23.9 million in venture capital to date, including a $15 million Series A funding round that the company closed in May. Rao said the latest round will help drive exponential growth and strengthen Sharebite’s leadership in the corporate food ordering space. 

Rao, who takes great pride in mentoring minority women founders whenever possible, said navigating Sharebite’s operations during 2020 has been one of the most rewarding moments of his career. This includes providing restaurant relief, retaining all of Sharebite’s employees, and continuing the company’s mission of giving back to society. 

The Sharebite founders, Mohsin Memon (Left) and Dilip Rao (Right).
The Sharebite founders, Mohsin Memon (Left) and Dilip Rao (Right).

Sharebite

"Each day has its own set of rewards because I get to spend the majority of my time working with some of the brightest and most driven people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with," Rao said. 

Rao said Sharebite is in "hyper-growth mode" as the company figures out how to continue partnering with client companies that may have changed their office habits. Sharebite’s contractual booking in the second quarter grew by 400%, compared to the prior year, so its founder thinks the company is heading in the right direction. 

"Sharebite’s products have played a critical role in helping companies engage their employees with one of the most important perks available: food," Rao said. "No matter where people decide to work from, feeding the modern workforce is our top priority."

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