FreshMenu, a Bengaluru-based online first restaurant has announced it raising $16.5 million in its new round of funding led by Zodius Capital along with the participation of existing investor Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Founded in 2014 by Rashmi Daga, the startup FreshMenu delivers ready-to-eat meal plates in Bangalore that includes main course, sides/salads and even desserts. It has its own kitchen and set of delivery boys unlike its competitor Zomato, Foodpanda, TinyOwl, Swiggy etc, which acts as aggregator. From last year, it had begun opening kitchens every month. The startup claims to be making a month-on-month growth of 30% to 40%.
With the fresh funds, FreshMenu plans to strengthen the team, brand and grow further. Daga said, “We will be adding newer kinds of food and cuisines to the menu. We are also upping the technology ante in terms of our new app and web experience. There will be more focus on Delhi and Mumbai, now that we have around 17 kitchens in Bengaluru.” She also added, “More than a food-tech company, we are more a tech-enabled food company.”
Shilpa Kulkarni, MD at Zodius Capital said, “We see tremendous opportunity in building a few good brands in the food space over the next 5-6 years; companies like Freshmenu are replacing the real estate cost with delivery costs.” This venture capital company has also backed up grocery e-tailer Bigbasket and online furniture seller Pepperfry.
On the other hand, the food delivery industry has been unstable quite recently with too many startups raising funding while many others got acquired, rolled down shutters or laid off employees. Last week online food ordering startup Foodpanda laid off 15% off its staff across verticals to become ‘sustainable and profitable.’ Another competing company TinyOwl had two layoffs in 2015, which subsequently led to a co-founder being taken hostage.