Indian Angel Network (IAN) announced its investment in Kolkata-based ‘Wow! Momo’, valued at over $16 million. In 2008, two friends, Sagar Daryani and Binod Homagai, from Kolkata conceived the idea of turning 'momos' into a diversified product category with versions appealing to different tastes. They had an operational start up before their exam results were announced. In its early days, the venture was bootstrapped with an initial investment of Rs.30,000.
They have ploughed back their profits to grow into a restaurant chain of over 50 outlets across six cities, which include Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Kochi, and Delhi. Their product line comprises momos, thukpa, and meals. They serve 11 different flavors of momos available in steamed, fried, pan-fried, sizzler, and baked variants.
With their business model being studied as a case study at various organizations and B-Schools, they consider their mantra for success to be constant product innovations like chocolate momo, MoBurg, sizzler momos, and baked momo au gratin etc.
Sagar and Binod’s mission is to make their products the food for all occasions and create a niche market not only for the masses but also for the upper and middle classes. The growing middle class currently accounts for the bulk of the company’s business. Sagar, Co-founder of Wow! Momo, said,
The investment has been raised from IAN for expanding our business across cities, strengthening our presence in the current cities, improving our product range and services, enhancing customer experience and strengthening our core team. By creating a national presence while maintaining the quality of the food we serve, we intend to be the world’s largest chain of momos, creating employment and adding value to the economy and society as a whole.
Wow! Momo plans to expand to 60 more outlets over the next two years. Sagar and Binod are looking forward to leverage the strategic insights and the network of their investors, which include Sanjeev Bhikchandani, Saurabh Srivastava, Ashvin Chadha, Ajai Chowdhry, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Raman Roy, and Anand Ladsariya, amongst others.
As a part of this round, IAN will look at nurturing the venture and the team to scale-up and standardize their offerings. They also plan to launch a new product line of 'healthy foods'. Ashvin Chadha, an IAN Investor and board representative, commented, "Food and Hospitality sector has emerged amongst the hottest segments in the ecosystem. We are excited to be a part of Wow! Momo’s journey."
Saurabh Srivastava, IAN investor, “We expect Wow Momos to soon be a household name in Delhi / NCR with their current plan of expanding to over 30 outlets here over the next 24 months in high street locations, outlets in malls in areas such as Lajpat Nagar, Satya Niketan, Prashant Vihar, Kirti Nagar, Dwarka, and Noida.”