Carpediem backs Biryani Blues in debut deal
VCCircle_Biryani_Blues | Photo Credit: Biryani Blues specialises in Mughlai cuisine, especially Hyderabadi Biryani

Gurgaon-based Thea Kitchen Pvt Ltd, which runs quick service restaurant (QSR) brand Biryani Blues, has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round of funding from Carpediem Capital Partners, the company’s director told VCCircle.

The company will mainly use the money for expansion of its outlets in Delhi-NCR.

“We have three outlets in Gurgaon and are looking to come up with two more in Gurgaon and Delhi, respectively,” said Raymond Andrews, adding that the construction work has already begun for the Gurgaon outlets. The two outlets in Delhi will come up at Connaught Place and Aerocity, next to the international airport.

The company is planning to have a dozen units in Delhi-NCR in the long term, said Andrews, an alumnus of Osmania University.

Andrews had earlier served companies such as Max New York Life Insurance Co. Ltd, Bharti Airtel Limited, Onida (MIRC Electronics Ltd.) before co-founding the company with his wife Aparna in March 2013.

The company specialises in Mughlai cuisine, especially Hyderabadi Biryani. It has a workforce of 150 employees.

For Carpediem, this is the first investment since it was launched last year. The fund is looking to invest in sectors such as consumer products and services, healthcare, consumer finance services, logistics, managed services and education.

Set up by executives associated with PE firm India Equity Partners and its portfolio companies, the PE firm is looking to raise Rs 550 crore in its maiden India-focused fund Carpediem Capital Partners Fund I, including a green-shoe option of Rs 225 crore.

The PE firm’s focus sectors include consumer products and services, healthcare, consumer finance services, logistics, managed services and education and its investment sweet spot is Rs 15-50 crore while bringing in co-investments for larger deals.

Arvind Nair, chairman, Carpediem Capital, said, “The QSR format in India has been dominated by western formats in recent years. We believe that with Biryani Blues there is an opportunity to develop a highly scalable Indian QSR format.”

The QSR space, especially Biryani joints in the country has attracted a lot of attention from the investors in the last couple of years. SEAF India Investment Advisors invested in Kolkata-based Guha Roy Food Joint & Hotel Pvt Ltd, which runs biryani QSR chain ‘Only Alibaba’ and fried chicken brand ‘Baked & Fried’.

In another deal last year, Hyderabad-based restaurant chain Paradise Food Court raised Rs 70 crore from Samara Capital.

In 2013, Bangalore-based HO Food Services Pvt Ltd, the company that owns and operates QSR chain Mani’s Dum Biryani, had raised Rs 2 crore from Navlok Ventures.

Back in 2012, SAIF Partners had invested Rs 40 crore in TMA Hospitality Services Pvt Ltd, which owns Ammi's Biryani.

Boutique investment advisory firm Four-S Services mediated in the latest transaction involving Thea Kitchen and Carpediem.

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