[Funding alert] Curefoods raises $13M from Iron Pillar, Nordstar, and Binny Bansal
Curefoods, the spin off foodtech brand founded by Ankit Nagori in 2020, which operates brands like Eatfit, Yumlane, Aligarh House Biryani, and Masalabox, has raised $13 million funding led by Iron Pillar, Nordstar, and Binny Bansal. Leading angels Adil Allana, Rashmi Kwatra, Lydia Jett, and Kunal Shah also participated in the round, according to a statement.
The company has been acquiring and incubating multiple cloud kitchen brands in the last few months. The fresh influx of funds will be used to acquire many more digital food brands across geographies. Moreover, Curefoods will look to expand its cloud kitchen footprint across multiple cities and build backend technology to manage its multi-brand, multi-city kitchens footprint.
Devdutt Padikkal and Ankit Nagori during the Curefoods launch
With this fund raise, the total funding raised by the company is at $20 million between Seed and Series A. Curefoods is also looking to close a $10 million debt raise in the coming weeks. According to Ankit, the team now wants to expand from four cities to eight cities in South India in 12 months, and they want to acquire five more brands in the next 12 months.
In a conversation with YourStory, Ankit said, "The pandemic has transformed the way people eat and order food online. Some people did it for convenience and some people for entertainment. This made us believe that there is no one size fits all. While we have been successful with Eatfit with a certain kind of audience at a certain time, we couldn't cater for entertainment of group ordering. We wanted to have a multi-brand approach that catered to different needs of the audiences."
He added that there are few Indian cloud-kitchen brands that are in the top 10 ordering choices of the consumer across the country, and the regional brands are part of the top 10 brands regionally. "This means the local regional brands haven't had velocity to reach a national level. So we thought to onboard local well-known cloud kitchen brands, that are digital brands, with Curefoods."
Anand Prasanna, Managing Partner at Iron Pillar, said in a conversation with YourStory, that in the past 18 months, online delivery has seen a significant growth.
He added, "Delivery and predictability was still a question mark before these 18 months. But now with people becoming more comfortable in online ordering, and companies becoming more robust, it is a good time to look at where the value add is being created."
He explained that food as a business has been building brands for decades, and the same model that has been proven globally, will happen in India. "As people's spending power will increase, people will want more discerning options and tastes and online cloud-kitchen is the way to deliver at scale."
The team was another reason for investing in Curefoods, said Anand, as he explained that food as a business needs a focussed execution model.
"Ankit and his team have had experience at Flipkart and later at Curefit, and they have proven that they can execute. Also, this business needs a certain mentality from the investor community. Three years back while cloud-kitchens were existent, there wasn't much focus. Now, there is global liquidity focus in the space, and people are looking at India. Capital interest in this area is increasing at the moment," he further said.
Ankit informed that they will be acquiring regional brands that are big online, are big in their geographies and haven't been able to expand nationally. The other strategy is taking on new age cloud-kitchen brands that are doing well in few cities, and help them tie up with partners in order to look at growth.
Ole Ruch, Managing Partner at Nordstar said, “We are thrilled to be backing Ankit and the experienced team behind Curefoods, who we believe is uniquely positioned to play a major role in the online food economy of India, creating meaningful brands at scale."
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