Mumbai-based start-up ‘Yumlane’ – a brand for food products – has secured $ 1 million in a seed round of funding led by Flipkart’s CEO Binny Bansal. Anupam Mittal – founder of People Group, Harish Bahl of Katalyzers fund, Sachin Bhatia – co-founder of MakeMyTrip and Darius Pandole – partner at private equity firm New Silk Route were among others who were involved in the round.
Hitesh Ahuja, the former vice president of New Silk Route – an Asia-focused private equity fund, founded Yumlane which is ran by Qwikpik Technology Pvt. Ltd. The team includes Rueben Ghosh co-founder (Product), Rahul Kumar co-founder (Technology) and Anirudh Mantri Vice President (Operations).
Yumlane works with vendors, who prepare the food that is then sold under the brand name. It offers hot snacks and meals that range between Rs 50 – 80 and are currently available across 10 different retail stores across Mumbai. This number will advance to 50 by the end of this month, with the platform aiming to reach out to up to 1000 retail stores by the end of this financial year. Consumers can pre-order and it also has an option to pay online and collect their food from the nearest store.
Yumlane oversees the quality control, the supply chain, retail, marketing and distribution for the products. They will also expand their product portfolio through a process which will see new products being rolled out in Mumbai in a span of 6 to 9 months. Moreover, the company will possibly launch an app for regular customers.
When asked about his new start-up, Hitesh Ahuja said, “We would like to make great food accessible to everyone, everywhere and leverage the deeply fragmented retail landscape our country offers. The raised funds will be used for marketing and brand building.” He further added that the platform plans to work with the retail outlets as they are more convenient for the consumers.
Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal have been active investors and have invested over $ 1 million in start-ups like MadRat (an offline gaming company) and Ather Energy (an automotive start-up) in the year 2014. This year, though there has been a battle between companies to raise funds from investors, the number of funding deals for early-stage start-ups has escalated. Indian start-ups raised $1.42 billion across 307 deals in Q1 2016, according to YourStory Research. During the same period, there were 132 early-stage deals, out of which 112 were Pre-Series A deals.