[Funding alert] Uber Co-founder and ex-CEO to invest in Rebel Foods and its 11 cloud kitchen brands

Travis Kalanick is all set to take a slice of the cloud kitchen business by investing in Pune-based Rebel Foods. Expansion plans for Southeast Asia on the anvil.

Rebel Foods, the operator of 11 cloud kitchens like Faasos and Behrouz Biryani, has reportedly raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Uber Co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick.

Sources reveal that City Storage Systems, Kalanick’s company, has been on the lookout for an ‘in’ into the world’s fastest growing online sectors. It chose the Pune-based Rebel Foods as it is the largest cloud kitchen in the world.

It has 1,600 virtual restaurants spread across 18 cities with more than 205 delivery centres. 

This marks Kalanick’s foray into a market size valued at $525 million. Kalanick is yet to make a formal announcement on the investment. 

Founded by McKinsey & Co. alumnus Jaydeep Barman and his INSEAD business school classmate, Rebel Foods started off as a small startup selling rolls ordered through an app called Faasos. Today, it is the largest kitchen in the world without actually owning a physical restaurant. 

Rebel Foods also counts GoJek, Coatue Management, Lightbox Ventures II, Lightbox Expansion Fund, SCI investments VI and Sequoia Capital as investors. It recently raised funding of $25.4 million from Goldman Sachs Asia Strategic.

Kalanick’s real estate business City Storage Systems, which takes over distressed real estate assets, and converts them into retail opportunities which includes the food business, has raised close to $125-$150 million, with Kalanick’s controlling interest, it was reported. This will be the former Uber CEO’s first investment in India. 

The online food ordering market in India is likely to grow at over 16 percent annually to touch $17.02 billion by 2023, according to a study titled Digital Platforms Reign in the Food Ordering Market by business consultancy firm Market Research Future.

According to the study, 95 per cent of the respondents surveyed order food online, owing to promotional offers and discounts, while 84 per cent individuals said it was hassle-free and time-saving. 

(Edited by Suruchi Kapur Gomes)


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