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Chennai-based Anicut Capital LLP, which specialises in investments in small and medium enterprises, has invested $2 million (Rs 13.7 crore) in Timla Foods, which makes and sells ready-to-eat product Popicorn, a top company executive told VCCircle.

Prashanth Gowriraju, chief executive of Timla Foods, said that the company has chiefly raised this money for growth capital.

“We will mainly use the funds for our general trade expansion and for hiring more professionals to support that expansion,” Gowriraju said.

The company says its products are visible in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Delhi. “We would like to foray into Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Madurai as part of our immediate expansion,” Gowriraju said.

Timla Foods, which was launched in 2016, says it makes 350,000 popcorn packets in a single day. It had raised money from Kae Capital in 2017 ($0.46 million). In 2016, Kae Capital participated in a $0.37 million round. Funding information has been sourced from VCCEdge, the data and research platform of News Corp VCCircle.

The asset management company has increased the target corpus of its debut fund to Rs 375 crore. Launched in early 2016, Grand Anicut I had an initial target corpus of Rs 300 crore.

The fund had brought Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) as a limited partner last year, and counts several family offices as lead investors.

Grand Anicut I had hit its first close in June 2016 at Rs 110 crore, and had received commitments of another Rs 200 crore from institutions, rich people and family offices in February 2017.

Anicut seeks to invest Rs 5-20 crore each in companies across sectors. Led by financial services veterans IAS Balamurugan and Ashvin Chadha, the fund is targeting a 22-23% internal rate of return at the entity-level through short-term loans to mid-sized companies.

The company has already made a few investments from its debut fund. Its portfolio companies include Mysuru-based Kaynes Technology India Pvt. Ltd, Bhopal-based retail chain Ondoor Concepts Pvt. Ltd, Chennai-based Curatio Healthcare (I) Pvt. Ltd, and fintech firm Lendingkart.

Other deals
A number of firms in the broader packaged food space has raised funding in recent months.

In May, VCCircle reported that US-based private equity firm General Atlantic LLC had inked a deal to pick up a majority stake in Mumbai-based packaged food products manufacturer Capital Foods Pvt. Ltd, the maker of Ching’s Secret sauce and instant noodles.

In March, venture debt firm Alteria Capital Advisors invested money in ready-to-cook food startup Fingerlix, operated by Maverix Platforms Pvt. Ltd.

In January, Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia invested Rs 152 crore ($23 million) in Southern Health Foods, which markets its products under the brand Manna Foods.

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