Hardik Pandya Invests in D2C Food Startup Yu, Joins as Brand Ambassador

With a focus on healthy and chemical-free packaged foods, Yu plans to scale its business across all channels and target groups, leveraging Hardik Pandya's influence and investment.

Hardik Pandya Invests in D2C Food Startup Yu, Joins as Brand Ambassador

Wednesday April 12, 2023,

2 min Read

Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya has made a strategic equity investment in direct-to-consumer (D2C) food startup Yu Foodlabs and joined the company as its brand ambassador. Co-founded by Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur, Yu specializes in ready-to-eat meals, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner options such as instant noodles, pastas, oats, halwa, and desserts. The company is planning to launch 8-10 new products within the next year.

Yu operates a 24,000 sq ft integrated manufacturing facility in Gurugram and has experienced significant growth, doubling its revenue in the past six months. The startup has partnered with airlines such as SpiceJet and Akasa Air to provide instant meals to customers. Yu's sales come from a variety of channels, with 40% from online sources, 10% from exports, and the remaining 50% divided between offline and online platforms.

In Q1 FY24, Yu aims to sell approximately 2 million units, generating revenues of INR 14-15 crore, and maintaining a 75% quarter-on-quarter growth rate. The company offers 15 SKUs and has a presence in over 4,000 offline stores, e-commerce platforms, and quick commerce segments, as well as more than 100 academic campuses. Yu also exports to South Africa, the United States, and Singapore.

The proceeds from Hardik Pandya's investment will be used to fund Yu's first brand campaign during the upcoming IPL 2023 season and the ICC World Cup in India. In 2022, Yu raised INR 20 crore in a Series A funding round led by investor Ashish Kacholia, with participation from the Asian Paints Promoter Group and the DPIIT's Startup India Seed Fund. The startup aims to expand its offline presence to cities such as Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai.

Yu's mission of promoting healthy, chemical-free, and preservative-free packaged foods aligns with Hardik Pandya's passion for health and wellness. Competing with other D2C brands like Buddha Bowls, The Bowl Company, and The Meal Bowl, Yu aims to contribute to the evolution of the packaged food industry with its diverse product range.