QwikPik Technology-owned YumLane, a brand for food products, has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round led by Flipkart’s CEO Binny Bansal. Anupam Mittal, founder of People Group, Harish Bahl of Katalyzers Fund, Sachin Bhatia co-founder of MakeMyTrip, and Darius Pandole, partner at private equity firm New Silk Route, also participated in the round.
The raised funds will be used for marketing and brand building.
The Mumbai-based startup was founded earlier this year by Hitesh Ahuja. It offers hot snacks and meals, and the products are available at retail stores across Mumbai. The products range between Rs 50-80 and are currently available across 10 different retail stores, and the number will go up to 50 by the end of this month, with the platform aiming to reach out to up to 1,000 retail stores by end of this financial year.
The startup will also expand its product portfolio, a process which will see new products being rolled out in Mumbai in the next six to nine months. Moreover, the company is looking to launch an app for regular consumers.
"We are creating a young consumers' brand and bring them the option of food-on-the-go. Young consumers are heavily dependent on street food, which is not hygienic, and we aim to solve that problem by bringing out good quality products with good packaging and checked hygiene. The other large FMCG companies are quite diversified and have not really focused on this space, which shows that we do not have any direct competitor in the market," said Hitesh to YourStory on a call.
YumLane works with vendors, who prepare the food that is finally sold under its brand name. It takes charge of quality control, the supply chain, retail, marketing and distribution for the products.
Hitesh further added that the platform plans to work with the retail outlets as they are more convenient for the consumers.
Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal have been active investors and had invested $1 million in Bengaluru-based MadRat games, an offline gaming company, in 2014.
In the same year, the Flipkart founders also led the seed funding round for automotive startup Ather Energy, which later raised $12 million from Tiger Global.
This year, though the ecosystem has been battling to raise funds from investors, the number of funding deals for early-stage startups has soared. Indian startups raised $1.42 billion across 307 deals in Q1 2016, according to YourStory Research. During the same period, there were 132 early-stage deals, out of which112 were Pre-Series A deals.
InnoVen Capital, along with the Association of Indian Angel Groups, learnt that there was a 62 percent rise in angel investments in financial year 2015-16 (FY 16) from financial year 2014-15 (FY 15), garnering a total of almost Rs 114 crore in commitments from angel groups. FY 15 saw a little more than Rs 70 crore in commitments.
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