The foodtech horizon is abuzz yet again with meal delivery service InnerChef amassing $1.6M from top-notch tech space entrepreneurs.
Gurgaon-based InnerChef adapted its model from the US-based Blue Apron. It delivers pre-cooked, sliced food to customers with all necessary ingredients as well as the recipe packed in a kit.
The company was launched by Sawhney, Bal DiGhent, Heena Karia Thakkar, Uday Bansal and Rahul Samat. However, Thakkar, Bansal and Samat quit a few months ago as part of a ‘restructuring exercise’.
Sawhney, former president of Reliance Entertainment and founder of GSF Superangels, and DiGhent, who runs Di Ghent Café, now runs InnerChef. InnerChef is likely to soon induct an industry veteran as its third co-founder.
The ready-to-cook meals delivery startup floated by GSF Accelerator’s Rajesh Sawhney, has raised Rs 11 crore ($1.6 million) in pre-series A funding from Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Redbus co-founder Phanindra Sama, Shaadi.com’s Anupam Mittal and other tech investors.
GOQii founder Vishal Gondal, BharatMatrimony.com founder Murugavel Janakiraman, Dinesh Agarwal, founder of IndiaMART.com and Tolexo.com, Hungama Digital founder Neeraj Roy and Roshan Abbas, founder of Encompass, also put money in this round.
Teru Sato, founder of Japan’s NetPrice and Beenos, Softbank executive Atsushi Tiara, Hiro San of M& S Fund, Japan, and TA Venture were among the other investors.
Sawhney said the funding demonstrates the investors’ confidence in InnerChef’s kitchen-in-the-cloud business model, strength of its team, and strong growth since the launch in April 2015.
Growth on the charts
It will also use the money to build its newly launched desserts marketplace, Indulge, across six cities within the next three months, the statement said.
Indulge aims to aggregate 100,000 home bakers across 100 Indian cities within a year. It will also provide bakers a technology platform and delivery infrastructure to reach end customers. It has started this service in Gurgaon and South Delhi.
Heavy funding rounds have speckled this segment in the past months. The market and consumers have welcomed food services, most of which are delivery models – with open arms. And we can’t imagine why not.
Earlier this month, Holachef Hospitality Pvt Ltd, which runs an online marketplace where professionals and amateur chefs can sell meals, secured an undisclosed amount in funding from Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata.
Also, Bangalore-based Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates online food ordering startup Swiggy.com, has raised Series B funding of $16.5 million (around Rs 102 crore) in a round led by Norwest Venture Partners for geographical expansion and brand building.
Bite Club, based in Delhi-NCR, raised Rs 3 crore from Powai Lake Ventures and angels such as Aneesh Reddy of Capillary Technologies, Ashish Kashyap of Goibibo Group and Alok Mittal of Canaan Partners. In February, food technology and delivery startup Yumist raised about Rs 6.2 crore from venture capital firm Orios Venture Partners.
The other large deals in this segment were that of TinyOwl, which raised Rs 100 crore in its Series B round from Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital and Nexus Venture Partners, and Foodpanda, which raised $110 million for its global plans.