Tech and taste do go hand in hand for the food tech is the hot topic in the startups community. After the technology startups have got hold of a huge market in the e-commerce segment, now the ever-hungry India entrepreneurs are looking to gratify the appetite of others. In top metro cities of India, a new food startup pops up every day to deliver food at the doorstep or wherever you are. No matter if its breakfast or snacks or salads or cakes. Food tech market is vast and there are many players in the market. However, we have narrowed down the list and have come out with top eight food startups in India that one should lookout for in 2015.
Gurgaon-based Restaurant discovery and food ordering portal Zomato is one of the India’s biggest food startup. It is an online search and discovery service that provides information on home delivery, dining-out, cafes and nightlife in cities of India and 21 other countries. The website is ranked 1,369 in the world and 117 in India by Alexa as on February 2015. The company currently operates in 22 countries that includes United States, Dubai, UK, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Poland and New Zealand. However, if considered the ‘on paper’ companies, Zomato’s operations have crossed more than 40 countries globally.
Founded by Deepinder Goyal in 2008, Zomato is growing at a very fast pace. Very recently, the company has acquired a Delhi-based startup MapleGraph the built MaplePOS, a cloud-based point of sale product for restaurants. It offers various features for restaurant like menu and inventory management, and has a built-in payment solution to accept debit and credit card payments. Through acquiring this company, Zomato moves ahead to provide business-focused solutions for restaurants which would allow the company to offer various different services to the end consumer. With regard to the funding, Zomato is backed by private equity investors including Sequoia Capital and India’s Info Edge India Ltd. Till date investors have invested around $95 million in the business and the company is valued to be around $1 billion.
Founded by Sahil Khan and Hrishikesh Rajpathak in 2014, is a crowdsourced dish discovery app for iOS & Android that helps one search for and rate the best dishes around you. Anytime when a person is need of information on best place to eat a certain dish, one can login to the app and decide on the basis of the reviews of the community to find the right place. It also allows its users to know about a particular dish at a particular restaurant, so that one can decide on it before ordering it. The app currently works on the recommendations and suggestions from the members of the community at large. The company is working on to include algorithm that will allow their users to see what their friends are suggesting.
Right now, like most niche products, the biggest challenge for Quinto is to make people aware about their differentiation. The founders are relying heavily on content marketing to create the awareness. They also plan on building and incorporating analytics engine into this product to offer personalized recommendations. The Pune-based company has now expanded to Mumbai and is looking for funding to expand their operations further.
Another food discovery startup MeDine helps its users to flip through menus and order food through mobile phone so that the food is ready when the user reaches the restaurant. Apart from ordering food, the free-for-download app ‘intelligent assist’ feature automatically recognizes the user’s location and alerts him/her to collect the reward points. This technology works even without GPS being enabled or when the phone data is off too. The reward points can be redeemed at various shopping, movie, restaurants, spa etc. A basic version of the app was launched in December 2012 and it started off as a browse-only menu.
Founded by Satish and Sachin, currently, the startup focuses on technology and growth more than the revenue flow. Product market fit is the most important challenge the team faces, keeping track of numbers that shift. When facing big numbers, this is definitely becomes an issue. For now, the app works in more than 3400 restaurants and cafes in three cities that are Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. The venture looks promising and are working on to expand in many more cities. With regard to funding, they have been self-funded around $60K in 2013. Also, they are looking for partners to take the company to the next level than mere funding.
The startup ChefHost connects professional chefs with consumers. It has positioned itself as an online platform linking professional chefs with those hosting parties at home. The chefs generally charge Rs.1200 to Rs 5000 per person where he decides the menu, shop for ingredients, cook and serve and clean-up. The founder and CEO of ChefHost Abhinandan Balasubramanian says, “We restrict ourselves to top-rated professional chefs.” Currently, the company operates with 250 chefs signed for the service, with over 50 culinary consultants, celebrity chefs and partners. Apart for it, ChefHost is claiming that it has broken the 2500 hosts barrier for sign ups in its beta run, suggesting that it’s extremely popular in its base of operation – Southeast Asia.
The Chennai-based startup is operating in eight cities in India. Also, through co-founder Yin Yin ChefHost functions in Hong Kong too. In forthcoming months, the venture aims to expand operations in Pakistan, China, West and Southeast Asia as well as routing to enter Latin American market. The startup makes use of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn to hunt for local chefs to serve as contract employees. The global ambition of the team has attracted investors. The chief executive of Asianet News Network has made an angel investment in the company that grabbed attention with the freshness of the idea. Balasubramaniam expects more investors including an actor from Bollywood soon. The company is looking to launch external fundraising round at the Web Summit in Dublin soon. To speed-up the growth of the business, the founder aims to partner with a waiter service in Hong Kong and a Mumbai-based online gifting services startup Gifting Joy and Chennai-based event management form Quanta G.
The new startup Momoe app allows user to pay the bills of the restaurant across urban areas of Bangalore with a click on their smart phone. With this app, users can see live tab, split bills and pay on the phone without having to wait for the bill to arrive at the table. The app is currently working on Android and iOS platforms. The average transaction sizes on Momoe (around Rs.1500) are a case in point. Momoe payments are accepted at many popular restaurants in Bangalore and is aiming to rope-in more than 500 merchants get payments in the coming months. It has partnered with around 30 restaurants and pubs currently and has over 10,000 users using the app. It is working to expand its coverage apart from restaurants to grocery stores, apparel and other retail outlets.
Founded in April 2014 by a group of IIT and IIM alumni consisting of Utkarsh Biradar, KArthik Vaidyanathan, Ganesh Balakrishnan, Neelesh Bam and Aiman Ashraf, the company is planning to expand its operations to other metro cities too. This virtual wallet company has very recently raised $1.2 million in a seed round of funding led by IDG Ventures and Jungle Ventures with participation of India Quotient. “Momoe is disrupting the payments at both merchants and consumer end by leveraging the power of smrtphones and we believe it will lead the future of payments in India,” said TC Meenakshisundaram, manging director of IDG Ventures India. “The chemistry with the team was instant. This team was also one of the most complete teams one sees at early stage,” said Anand Lunia, founder and partner of India Quotient. After the company proves the model in India, they may look at South East Asia and Middle East as potential new markets to enter.
Found in 2012, DineOut is an online table reservation website that allows the customers to book a table at restaurants either online or through the phone. It also gives its users exclusive discounts for usage of the service, which the users can avail at the restaurants. Functioning at Delhi/NCR and Mumbai, the startup claims to have tie-up with more than 450 top restaurants from the 2 cities and has served more than 3 lakhs diners so far. The contractual agreement with all their partner restaurants and being successful in monetizing this and getting our payments on time from the restaurants are the things that hold the competitive advantage over its competitors.
Founded by four friends – Ankit Mehrotra, Sahil Jain, Nikhil Bakshi and Vivek Kapoor, the startup has felt the steady growth since its funding of Rs.60 Lakhs in 2012 by Ankush Nijhawan and Gaurav Bhatnagar B2B online travel agency. The investment was used to technology growth in the back-end process, develop mobile applications and marketing. The startup is also looking to introduce a completely new sector in the banquet space for the party season this year. This new offering will specifically serve corporate and the wedding parties.
Apart from reservations, it also enables a reservation management system (RMS) that helps make restaurants’ day-to-day operations efficient. Using DineOut, the restaurant managers are able to confirm customers’ reservations instantly, manage the wait list, receive real-time notifications, and generate reports on market trends anytime, anywhere.
Big Basket is another online startup company that sells food and groceries with over 10,000 products and over 100 brands. the products it sells are categorized as fresh fruits and vegetables, grocery and staples, meats, personal care and home and kitchen products. Founded in 2011 at Bangalore, expanded its operations to Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. It also houses its own mobile application in both Android and iOS that allows customers to order groceries on-the-go. The ‘Smartbasket’ feature in the website and the app that helps to accurately predict what a customers want to reduce the time-of-order to less than 5 minutes.
The founding team that includes Hari Menon, V S Sudhakar, K Ganesh and Meena Ganesh is the most notable part of the BigBasket. With regard to the transactions, BigBasket caters to 300 daily transactions with average billing of Rs. 1,200 and stocks about 7,000 stock-keeping units. It has 5000 orders per day and growing steadily at the rate of more than 20% month-on-month with the customer base of 1.5 lakhs. The company has hit an operational profit in the home city of Bangalore and aims to hit Rs. 250 Cr annualized revenue this year. Ascent Capital is the major investor and owns a majority stake in the startup after it invested $10 million into it three years ago. Early 2013, the company raised $3 million in a bridge round of funding from a Singapore-based private investor. Late last year, the company raised more than $33 million in a fresh round of funding by Helion Ventures and Zodius Capital. With this, the reports say the current worth of the company is more than $100 million
Bangalore-based food delivery startup Spponjoy.com operates to serve the need by offering a subscription service for food delivery across Bangalore. They offer cut fruits, sprouts, a combination of both, lunch and snacks on subscription.The food they deliver is completely done by them. The founder Manish Jethani said, “SpoonJoy is a brand which controls entire value chain that includes raw material, recipes, delivery and payment. They help us optimize the supply chain better and offer good value to the customers.” The company seeks to leverage technology to improve their supply chain capabilities. It has also come up with an app for Android and is working on the app for iOS.
Launched in April 2013, SpoonJoy currently serves 350-400 orders everyday with the most of the deliveries to the office. Recently, the company has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, chief product officer Mekin Maheshwari, founder of Tracxn Abhishek Goyal and co-founder of Delivery Sahil Barua. The company plans to use the fund to expand its operations to newer locations and build new technologies for the betterment of the business.
Bangalore-based iTiffin operates online and delivers tiffin based on defined calorie count requirement. The startup was launched in early 2013 by founders Tapan Kumar Das and Ryan Fernando who also runs Qua Nutrition which consults celebs on diet plans. They realized when they could master making diet charts who not supply them too. The company delivers about 10,000 tiffins a day and has recently partnered with two leading corporates which has doubled its orders. It charges Rs.1,750 for a 20 working day for one meal plan and Rs.5000 to Rs.6000 per person for a three-month package from corporates. The company mainly targets at the health conscious working consumer and students.
The company kickstarted with the investment of Rs.10 lakhs from Das and Fernando and raised Rs.1.5 Cr from the Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa. The company last year raised $1 million in seed funding from an undisclosed investor. The company said it would look to raise a further $6 million in the next six months through Series A round of funding. Through the fund, its aims to expand its operations to Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. It also plans to launch meals for diabetics, heart patients and old people and upgrade their kitchen three times bigger than the current size and be able to process around Rs.10 lakh meal per month. There are also plans to open around ten retails centers as a hub for takeaway.
The Mumbai-based startup TinyOwl lets users order food from restaurants around them. It is an Android app that allows users to order food through their mobile phones. The startup’s app can detect the user’s locations and show restaurants in their vicinity. The main aim of the startup is to have a personal connection between the people and their food. The offers both card and cash-on-delivery payment options to customers. The app also save the customer details for later use and suggest exclusive deals and orders to customers. This app service is currently available only for people in Mumbai.
Founded by five IIT alumnus, last August, TinyOwl secured $3 million in its Series A round of funding from Sequoia Capital and Nexus Venture Partners. Though it is not clear how they are planning to use the fund, it is expected to be invested to broaden their services. When tried to understand it better from the co-founder Harshvardhan Mandad, he denied to comment on it. But he said he is working on the target to increase 3,000 to 5,000 orders per day to 50,000 orders per day before the end of the year, which would surely be a huge leap.