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Alteria Capital backs ready-to-cook food startup Fingerlix in debut deal

Venture debt firm Alteria Capital Advisors LLP has invested in ready-to-cook food startup Fingerlix in its maiden deal.

Alteria will provide Rs 8.5 crore ($1.3 million) to Fingerlix, operated by Maverix Platforms Pvt. Ltd, it said in a statement.

The capital comes from Alteria’s maiden fund, which received regulatory nod in October and marked its first close earlier this month at Rs 356 crore.

Alteria said Fingerlix will use the funds to increase production capacity, expand product suite and grow in newer markets.

Fingerlix was founded by Shrikrishna Bharambe, Shripad Nadkarni, Varun Khanna and Abhijit Berde in 2015. It provides ready-to-cook products such as batters, mixes, curries, dals, parathas and fully ready accompaniments. The company lets clients customise dishes to their taste.

The startup had received angel money worth Rs 7.5 crore in 2016, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle. The following year in April, it secured Rs 19.5 crore from private equity firm Zephyr Peacock India in a Series A round. In October 2017, it raised Rs 45 crore in a Series B round from new investor Accel Partners and existing investor Zephyr.

“Fingerlix is a rapidly growing business with strong fundamentals and a fantastic team... (which) has ensured that the foundation is well-established,” said Vinod Murali, co-founder and managing partner at Alteria Capital.

Fingerlix is one of several companies that make ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat food to have received investors’ attention in the recent past, as demand for such products increases on account of a busier consumer lifestyle and rising income levels.

Recent deals in the segment include Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia investing Rs 152 crore in Southern Health Foods, which markets its ready-to-cook products under the brand Manna Foods, in January.

Maiyas Beverages and Foods Pvt. Ltd, iD Fresh Food (India) Pvt. Ltd, Yumlane and Chef’s Basket are among the other companies in this segment to have received investment in recent years.

Alteria Capital

The venture debt firm was founded by former top executives at venture debt provider InnoVen Capital India Pvt. Ltd.

The firm’s maiden fund is registered as a Category-II alternative investment fund under the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s norms. It has a target to raise Rs 1,000 crore, with an option to raise an additional Rs 200 crore.

The firm targets early- and growth-stage startups with cheques of up to Rs 100 crore each.

Venture debt as a segment is growing in India even as venture capital activity is seeing a slowdown of sorts. Other major players offering debt funding to early-stage companies in India include Delhi’s Trifecta Capital Advisors, Bengaluru-based Capital Float, IFMR Capital of Chennai and Ahmedabad-based Lendingkart.

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