Jubilant Foodworks acquires 25.02 percent stake in Yuvraj Singh-backed Wellversed Health

The strategic investment in Yuvraj Singh-backed Wellversed Health, by Jubilant Foodworks, signals the ongoing interest of multinationals in the booming D2C sector.
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Noida-based Jubilant Foodworks Ltd. has acquired 25.02 percent stake in nutrition product startup Wellversed Health Pvt. Ltd. for Rs 10 crore, according to a BSE filing.

The company, which holds the master franchise for pizza brand Dominos, will make the investment in two tranches. In the first tranche, Jubilant Foodworks will invest Rs 6.5 crore, and the second tranche, which will be disbursed nine months later, will have Rs 3.5 crore.

"This investment reflects the company’s intent of making strategic investments in promising startups and emerging businesses, and is in line with the stated goal of building a multi-brand and multi-country food business powered by technology," Jubilant Foodworks said in its stock exchange filing.

Wellversed Health is a Gurugram-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup, which sells vegan and keto-friendly products including atta, sweetners, cookies, and spices.

The firm was founded in 2018 by Aanan Khurma, who was earlier a product manager at 1MG (now acquired by Tata), NIT graduate Ripunjay Chachan, and Aditya Seth. The Yuvraj Singh-backed firm has so far raised $3.1 million.

Since the pandemic, D2C startups have been seeing a major boom as consumers shifted online for entertainment, education, and shopping. This led to the discovery of many new brands. D2C startups -- including Sequoia-backed Mamaearth, Elevation Capital-backed SUGAR Cosmetics, and WOW Skin Science -- saw their revenue and valuations jump during this time.

While Mamaearth's valuation touched $700 million, SUGAR Cosmetics and Wow Skin Science revenues crossed Rs 100 crore mark.

Multinationals operating in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment have also been digitising themselves. While ITC Ltd. is focusing on personalising its online platform, oil-maker Marico and Tata Consumer Product Ltd. (TCPL) have been on a acquisition spree.

TCPL acquired snack brand Soulfull, while Tata Digital acquired Mukesh Bansal's Cure.fit and grocery delivery platform Bigbasket. Marico invested in D2C men's grooming brand Beardo and acquired 60 percent stake in Apcos Naturals, owner of ayurvedic beauty brand Just Herbs.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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