Not So Dark
A Whaly success story


Not So Dark is a food tech startup that creates virtual food brands built for the online delivery market. From plant-based burgers to mediterranean pitas, they have 9 food brands that rely on their 300+ restaurant / kitchen partners to supply the meals. Their business model works in a scalable way with their lightning speed set-up, ingredient sourcing, and recipes, all built to fit in “quietly” within existing establishments. They promise to be an easy revenue-generating machine for restaurants.

Not So Dark is a French startup that’s well-poised for success, now present in 60 cities across France, UK, and Belgium. We’re thrilled to be supporting them on their data journey, helping them leverage data for growth.

Not So Dark & Whaly Summary

  • Whaly replicates data from Not So Dark’s BigQuery data warehouse, using Not So Dark’s own ETL. They are not using Whaly’s connectors, and leverage Whaly primarily for its visualization and BI capabilities.
  • Their goal is to drive revenue growth by measuring the performance of their 9 brands.

The Challenge

Implementing a data set-up and culture for the first time

Not So Dark is a young, fast-growing company that saw an increasing need to be able to track data and learn from it. They knew that becoming data-driven was critical to fueling their growth, however, they simply didn’t have anything in place to support it back in early 2022. Their main challenge was essentially starting from scratch and laying the groundwork for becoming a data-driven company.

They needed to take steps to implement a data mindset, culture, and tooling for the first time. In February 2022, they began hiring their first data team. Currently, they’ve built out a solid data team of 4: 1 Analytics Engineer and 2 Data Analysts, reporting into the Head of Data.

With a team in place, step 2 was to select the right flexible, self-service business intelligence solution from which business teams could easily visualize data and make informed decisions. The most immediate need was to monitor and understand performance KPIs of their brands.

The Solution

In early July 2022, after evaluating various BI solutions on the market like Looker and Tableau, they finally decided on Whaly because it was clear that it was the most user-friendly platform available for non-technical people, while still offering robust capabilities. The self-service aspect of it was particularly compelling, so that Not So Dark’s small data team wouldn’t be a bottleneck for the business users getting their hands on data.

Which teams use Whaly?

Folly Akakpovi, Analytics Engineer, is the main builder of Not So Dark’s Whaly instance. He is responsible for creating data models in the data warehouse, and all topics related to data collection and cleanliness. Agathe Fagot and her colleague are Data Analysts who bridge the gap with the business teams. They work on data for the different business units, helping them build dashboards and visualize the data. The data team was responsible for setting up Whaly and has ownership over the data, ensuring its accuracy and quality, which is important to Folly.

In addition to the data team, there are 3 business teams who work closely together and use Whaly on a regular basis:

  • Brand Managers: responsible for owning one of their 9 total brands (like Como Kitchen, Vegedal, and others); boosting the brand’s revenue on delivery platforms
  • Marketing: supporting the brand managers to market the food brand; maximizing awareness, orders, and engagement
  • Growth Team: overall Revenue Growth team which includes Key Success Managers who oversee the franchise restaurant partners

As of September 2022, 2 months after they implemented Whaly, Not So Dark has 37 total users signed up on Whaly, an incredibly fast surge in a short period of time.

Use Case: Monitoring brand performance

Not So Dark’s main use case for using Whaly is to get ongoing, real-time visibility into operations and performance KPIs around each of their 9 brands, with the purpose of ensuring that their brands are successfully growing and appealing to the market.

With Whaly, Not So Dark could be informed on key metrics for each brand, such as: number of orders, order values, overall brand revenue, and brand performance in specific countries/cities. They could easily see which brands were performing better or worse than others, and make improvements accordingly. 1 restaurant partner can operate 2-3 brands, so they could see specific KPIs around which restaurant partners were contributing to the brands.

The Results

The days of only the data team working with data are over - for the best! With Whaly, Not So Dark has been able to easily boost data adoption across the company, which is the first step to building a data-driven culture where people trust and lean on data to make key decisions. Whaly’s quick implementation, low learning curve, and user-friendly interface removed any friction to getting started, which was key for spreading adoption to non-technical users. In only 2 short months, 37 users at Not So Dark have adopted Whaly. The more business users are “sold” on data and know how to leverage it to their advantage, the higher the chances of becoming a data-driven company.

With Whaly’s self-service focus, the business users across the Brand Management, Marketing, and Growth teams at Not So Dark have the autonomy of serving themselves the analytics and insights they need around brand performance. They are able to pilot certain brands and make decisions and changes with confidence, since it’s backed by data.

This makes for an efficient process - where data gets in the hands of the end users who are responsible for business decisions and growth faster and easier. The data team doesn’t act as a bottleneck, and business users are not reliant on anyone else to get data.

From the data teams’ point of view, Whaly has saved them plenty of time. They don’t feel obligated to help the business users with every request. It’s been very “positive in terms of workload, with less friction and frustration,” according to Agathe. All non-technical teams can visualize data in real-time on their own.

In summary, while we’re only at the beginning of our journey with Not So Dark, we’re proud to have helped them achieve:

  • Data adoption at Not So Dark from 0 to 37 users in 2 months. That’s roughly 50% of the company! They’re now on their way to quickly becoming a data-driven company. With all the new hires joining and the data teams’ limited bandwidth, the business users are even handling the onboarding of Whaly to new users, in some cases. This “snowball” effect is sure to result in adoption and trust in data.
  • Empowering business teams to be autonomous with data, due to Whaly’s strong self-service capabilities. Training time to get business users up to speed on Whaly is only 1 hour.
  • Time saver for data teams, so they can focus on fewer menial tasks and avoid fielding business requests all day. Data teams were spending 2 hours/week on Whaly in August 2022, and are now spending under 20 minutes/week in September.

What Not So Dark loves about Whaly:

  • Strong self-service capabilities for business teams; user-friendliness
  • Ownership of data by data team, to ensure high governance
  • Whaly’s customer support via Slack has been very reliable, collaborative and fast

We look forward to expanding our use cases with Not So Dark, and to watching their success continue to skyrocket!

Company Size
"Whaly helps us drive data adoption and become a more data-driven company. I get to have ownership over the data, while empowering business teams to self-serve the analytics they need."
Folly Akakpovi
Analytics Engineer, Not So Dark