Fast casual Mexican restaurant chain California Burrito which was founded in 2006 by three Americans — Bert Mueller, Dharam Khalsa, and Gaelan Connell — has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from existing investor, SNAM Solutions and Adhvith Dhuddu.
The company had raised an $800,000 investment in 2013.
California Burrito had forayed into the Indian market in October 2012 by launching its first outlet in Bengaluru. By the end of 2014, it had seven stores with a team of 100 employees. At present, it has 12 restaurants across Bengaluru and Chennai.
The fresh capital raised will be used for expanding the business, scaling supply chain, and improving the delivery experience. California Burrito will have a footprint of 40 stores in India by the first quarter of 2018. In an earlier interaction with YourStory, the company had mentioned its plans to have 500 stores in five different countries by 2018.
“Our vision is to change the level of quality that customers expect from a fast food experience. California Burrito sources all of its vegetables from local farmers and has tied up with select farms in Ooty and Kodaikanal for its avocado supply,” said Bert Mueller, Director of California Burrito.
Further, Dharam Khalsa, Director of California Burrito added that they are expanding their presence in Bengaluru and Chennai and also looking closely at properties in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Pune.
Existing investor Adhvith Dhuddu, said, "We are impressed with California Burrito's growth in the last 18 months and see massive potential in the next two years. Fast casual Mexican food as a sector has limited players. With this investment and California Burrito's expansion plans, I foresee the brand solidifying its position as a leader in the sector.”
The growth of the food segment in India has been sluggish, leading to a number of shutdowns and acquisitions/mergers in the last year and even the beginning of this one. The startups in this list include EatOnGo, Langhaar, SpoonJoy, TinyOwl’s merger, and Dazo, among others.
However, many of the segment’s startups operating on slightly different business models have gained traction and are doing reasonably well. These include Swiggy, Zomato, and FreshMenu.
The food services market is touted to be worth $50 billion, growing at 16 to 20 percent YOY. In 2016, many early-stage startups have been backed and among these, two major deals have been closed — by Swiggy and FreshMenu.