[Funding alert] Pune food startup True Elements raises Rs 10Cr from Maharashtra State Social Venture Fund

Pune startup True Elements, which was launched in 2017, will be using the funds to strengthen its brand and product innovation.
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Pune-based food brand True Elements said it recently closed a funding round of Rs 10 crore from Maharashtra State Social Venture Fund (MSSVF) — a fund managed by SIDBI VC. The fund has a mandate of investing in companies that are making an impact on the local ecosystem and women. 

True Elements will be using this fund to strengthen its brand and product innovation. 

“Our focus on technology and cost-efficiency has ensured that we are one of the most capital-efficient startups in the country. While we have been profitable so far this year, our endeavour now is to maintain consistent growth in EBITDA margins while scaling up, even with external funds,” said Co-founder Puru Gupta.

Co-founder Sreejith Moolayil added, "We are not preparing for Rs 100 crore, we are now preparing for Rs 1,000 crore topline in the next few years. What was a dream a few years back is now our KRA!”

True Elements Team

The startup, which uses Indian local produce like millets, grains, and seeds, employs 75 percent women in its production factory based out of Pune. It also touches the lives of rural women by giving away cooking fuel made from plastic waste it recycles as part of its green policy. 

With a motto of providing “food that does not lie to you,“ True Elements provides whole food plant-based "nashta" — a term commonly used for breakfast and snacks consumed at different times around the country. 

“True elements focus on people, product, and ecosystem got their attention and their capital efficient model has made them really attractive in these times. Being an EBITDA positive company without huge infusion till date has made them self reliant to tide over the COVID-related opportunity,” said the SIDBI Senior Fund Manager Mahendra Lodha.

True elements currently generate sales from its own website, marketplaces, and 6,000+ general trade stores spread across the country.

This go-to-market strategy of the startup claimed to help them take advantage of the COVID situation, and acquire new customers at a much faster pace in pandemic times. The startup said it grew 3X since the COVID lockdown and has also improved its customer retention.

Edited by Suman Singh