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A91 Partners invests in healthy snacks maker Happilo
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A91 Partners, a venture capital firm floated by former Sequoia Capital executives, has invested Rs 100 crore (about $13.7 million) in healthy snacks maker Happilo.

The Bengaluru-based firm will primarily utilise the capital to expand its product range and strengthen the brand and offline distribution capabilities, as per a press statement.

VCCircle was the first to report in September last year that Happilo was in discussions with A91 Partners among other potential investors to raise the capital.

“We are well-capitalised for another 12-18 months, post which we might again hit the market for capital raising,” said Vikas Nahar, founder of Happilo.

The brand, launched in 2016 by Nahar, has emerged as one of the prominent players in dried fruits, nuts, organic seeds and dry roasted snacks. It claims to have a presence across all leading modern retail and general trade stores through a distribution network of more than 40 channel partners. The items are also available on major e-commerce sites.

“Now, Happilo will have a unique opportunity to leverage its omnichannel capabilities to lead a large and important category in India towards getting organised,” said Abhay Pandey of A91 Partners.

Venture Garage, an advisory firm for early-stage startups, acted as financial adviser for the transaction.

A91 Partners

A91 Partners was floated in 2018 by V.T. Bharadwaj, Gautam Mago and Abhay Pandey. The trio had left Sequoia Capital between June 2017 and August 2018. In November 2018, Kaushik Anand quit as the India head of CapitalG to join A91 Partners.

A91 Partners had recently hit the market to raise its second India-focused fund.

A91 Partners has so far backed spices maker Pushp, non-banking financial company Aye Finance, consumer-tech firm Atomberg Technologies, beverage brand Paper Boat, and make-up brand Sugar Cosmetics.

Healthy snacks

There has been a growing interest in healthy snack brands. In July 2020, for instance, Mumbai-based healthy snacks maker SnackAmor raised a round of angel funding from Srinivas Chunduru, a former adviser to cab aggregator Ola.

In May 2020, children-focused healthy snacks brand Timios raised capital as part of its pre-Series A round. The exercise was led by Rangsons Technologies LLP, which is part of Mysuru-based NR Group.

In December 2019, venture capital firm Matrix Partners and a clutch of affluent individuals including Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma invested in healthy snacks startup Open Secret.

In November 2019, Matrix Partners and Sauce.vc provided seed funding to protein bar maker And Nothing Else, a company launched by a former Unilever executive.

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