After multiple near death experiences, food tech startup Bueno raises $600k in funding


Bueno, a Gurgaon based online food tech startup which delivers gourmet food, has raised $600k pre-series-A funding from an undisclosed angel investor. The startup has 5-star chefs among their co-founding team - Vipul Arora and Puneet Jain, who bring about 20 years of global cuisine and operations experience across Oberoi's, Intercontinental, Olive and McDonalds. They have also spearheaded 24x7 kitchen operations, supply chain and delivery.

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The core team also includes Ritesh Shrivastava - an IHM alumnus heading market operations, Ankit Arora - a CA leading Finance/ Controls with his team at Step1Consultants, Kapil Gupta whose team at OMLogic spearhead technology and digital marketing and Pankaj Batra whose team at Sparse Labs work on technology development and analytics. This is the startup's first funding received from external sources. Bueno was among the startups that had participated in the Food Tech Crowd Pitch Challenge, which YourStory held in collaboration with crowd engagement platform Catapooolt.

Rohan Arora

Rohan Arora, the Founder of Bueno wants to build a business of repute and scale by sticking to values of goodness - for self, society and the planet. He added, "In the last three years we have seen many ups and downs in our journey and have been on the verge of closing down at least five to six times. We have evolved and pivoted our business model each time to come out stronger and were determined to stick it out and build a great and lasting business."

Story so far

Apart from the core team, Bueno has about 20 people working on technology, marketing and logistics and plan to grow their team to 10x in the next eight months. In early 2014, Bueno was started as a retail store in a mall. They were able to break even in four months but faced issues. They then moved from the retail based model to corporate catering. Again facing multiple challenges they decided to go ahead with a two thronged approach of catering quick small ticket orders and larger bulk orders with Bueno.

Currently, Bueno controls their entire value chain from selection of suppliers, food preparation by their chefs, ordering and logistics. Their website claims that their current menu consists of 400 dishes spread across seven different cuisines. They have an 'XPRS menu' of dishes across these cuisines, which they can deliver within one hour in Gurgaon.

In addition they also offer customized menus for birthdays, parties, meetings or other large get-togethers at a notice of 24 hours delivered across NCR. Rohan added that almost 80% of their current orders are from the XPRS vertical, with about 150 orders a day on an average. For their bulk orders, which is a bigger ticket category, they see 20 to 25 orders a month.

Sector overview

Ramesh Mantri from Ashoka Advisory capital, (advisor to the transaction) says "Food and beverage is a huge sector and almost 80% of it is un-organized till date but is now getting organized with the emergence of new players in this field to exploit and explore the ocean of opportunities."

The food services market is touted to be a USD 50 billion market that’s growing at 16 to 20 per cent YOY. In February 2015, TinyOwl had raised INR100 Cr from Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital and Nexus. In May, Foodpanda had raised $100M in funding led by Goldman Sachs, taking their total to $310M. In June, Swiggy raised $16.5 M Series B funding from NVP and others.

Zomato, which had also entered food delivery space, recently raised $60M from Temasek and Vy Capital. Dazo (previously called Tapcibo) also raised funding; Grab raised $1 M from Oliphans Capital and Haresh Chawla. Other noteworthy startups in the sector that are doing well include SpoonJoyYumist and Frsh.

Related read from April: Why are Indian VCs salivating over food-tech startups?

Future plans

Bueno will utilize the funding for mainly talent acquisition, technology upgradation, data-analytics, operations, and marketing. They also plan to focus more on physical operations, customer relationship management(CRM), supply chain, building an improved technology platform and expansions.

The startup recently launched a new website with a better interface and account management features. Some features which are in the pipeline are 24x7 deliveries across Gurgaon, referral and loyalty programs. Bueno which has only been on the web so far, aims to launch their Android and iOS apps soon(currently under testing) with ordering, tracking and other customised features.

Website: Bueno