Gurgaon based innerChef, a food-technology company that delivers ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals has announced a pre-series A round of Rs. 11cr ($1.66mn) from the leading investors from across the globe. A number of leading Indian and International technology founders have participated in this round including the likes of Phanindra Sama (redBus), Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm), Anupam Mittal (Shaadi.com), Vishal Gondal (GOQii, exited from Indiagames), etc. innerChef co-founder Rajesh Sawhney is also the founder of GSF Accelerator and a majority of investors in this round of funding for innerChef have also invested in GSF.
innerChef is a food-tech company which offers meals in two formats: Ready-to-Eat and Ready-to-Cook. The Ready-to-Eat range is suited for the working professionals while the Ready-to-Cook range is suited for home-cooking. The company does not reveal any numbers but says that the they have been growing at 100% month-on-month since its launch in April 2015. Started from Gurgaon, the funds will be used to expand its footprint and launch 10 new kitchens across Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. Additionally, innerChef will also focus on building Indulge – a Hyper Local Desserts Marketplace that will bring desserts from home bakers and neighborhood bakeries, across six cities within the next three months.
innerChef co-founder Rajesh Sawhney said, “We are extremely pleased to have received support from the leading Indian and International Technology founders. We believe this demonstrates their confidence in our Kitchen-in-the-cloud business model, strength of our team, and awesome growth trajectory.” For innerChef, a departure from the norm is that it doesn't have an app but mainly relies on the web for taking in orders.
The food-tech space has seen a massive uprising following a trend that has its beginning in the Silicon Valley. Indian VCs have been salivating about the space and a whole lot of food delivery startups have got their share of funding in India. Within 5 months of raising a series A round, Bangalore based Swiggy raised a $16.5 million series B round, Mumbai based Tinyowl has raised more than INR 100 crores, and there are many more funded companies in the queue. All models revolve around variations of food delivery and logistics. Zomato, the big daddy in the space launched its Zomato Order and has started taking up stakes in logistics and delivery startups. TinyOwl has already taken up to mass hiring and a correction in the space is a certainty. Internet first QSR (quick service restaurants) like Faaso's also play an important part of the puzzle.