Outsourced Kitchen Start-up ItsMyMeal Gets $10-m Funding

Posted by fshsfhsfh on Thursday, April 5, 2012


One more positive development for wannabe food entrepreneurs. Investors seem to be betting big on businesses built on a hub and spoke model - centralized processing with a distribution mechanism. All the best to the folks at itsmymeal.in


Article published in the Economic Times, Friday, April 5, 2012

Outsourced Kitchen Start-up ItsMyMeal Gets $10-m Funding

PEERZADA ABRAR & BISWARUP GOOPTU, BANGALORE 


A handful of angeI investors have pumped in $10 million in ItsMyMeal, an online outsourced kitchen start-up that seeks to profit by delivering homemade ethnic food to the doorstep of the customers. 
Started by IIT and IIM graduates Nikhil Gupta, Anoop Agarwal and Neeraj Kumar, the firm provides customised basic daily home cooked meals to a growing number of Indians who have no time to cook. 
The premise has been strong enough for investors to make one of the highest first round investments in a new start-up, which typically attracts funding of about $1 million to $4 million even in the high-profile e-commerce segment. “Cooking food is an art, but we do it with technology which is helping us sustain the business,” said Nikhil Gupta, chief executive, ItsMyMeal. He declined to name the investors. Venture capital for very young start-ups has picked up pace this week. Accel Partners has invested $1.2 million in Delhibased Hotelogix which provides a cloud-based platform for hotels. Inventus Capital Partners invested $1 million in Bangalore-based Savaari Car Rentals. Founded by Gaurav Aggarwal, Savaari has grown to a network of over 100 operators across 60 cities. It derives more than half of its revenues from small towns and cities. 
“Car rental services are estimated at . 14,000 crore,” said Aggarwal, who will use the funding to grow its sales network and build technology to run back-end services. Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel, said the ability to sell online is giving rise to a new generation of Indian companies. 
ItsMy Meal offers a custom 
built online platform and a mobile application for meal planning, budgeting and ordering. The firm, which has a central kitchen in Bangalore, will use the money raised to build kitchens in technology parks and company campuses. Each kitchen will cater 1,000 packs of lunch, evening snacks and dinner per day. It uses artificial intelligence technology and software to determine the exact amount of ingredients required to make the meals which helps to reduce food wastage. 
The firm also uses an innovative packaging technology that it plans to file a patent for. 
Gupta calls his business a combination of food and online commerce. A former merchant navy sailor, Gupta put in a stint at the BPO arm of Infosys where he once got into a discussion about homemade meals at the cafeteria. 
“We were fed up with the oily canteen food which lacked taste. We made the business plan on the same day,” he said. The company has created a panel of top chefs and nutritionists who have built a database with 250 dishes from all over India. It adds 10 new dishes every week and even offers comfort meals such as curd rice for customers who are unwell. 

On the Platter • ItsMyMeal offers a custombuilt online platform and a mobile application for meal planning 
• The firm, which has a central kitchen in Bangalore, will use the money raised to build kitchens in technology parks and company campuses

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