IIM-Ahmedabad’s CIIE backs alumni’s food startup WIMWI

Ahmedabad-based WIMWI Foods Pvt Ltd, which supplies food ingredients and snacks, has secured an undisclosed amount in seed round of funding led by IIM Ahmedabad’s incubator-cum-investor, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).

Angel investors Siddharth Jain and Dinesh Bindal, both based in Ahmedabad, also participated in the funding round.

“We are trying to build interesting food options in India according to dietary preferences. We are getting our items from across the world and improve upon traditional Indian palette,” said Kanupradeep Subramanian, co-founder of WIMWI.

Although Subramanian didn’t disclose the investment amount, he said that CIIE normally invests between $1 million and $2 million in seed funding.

An IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus, Subramanian launched the company in March 2014 along with batchmate Srishti Shaw. Subramanian earlier worked with Royal Bank of Scotland and Qualcomm while Srishti worked with CRISIL and HP Enterprise Services in the past.

The company had started with its Shiitake mushrooms, which it imports from China and sells under brand ‘Le Gourmetz - the foodies’.

It is also looking to introduce gourmet food ingredients and grains with low-fat, high-protein combination in the stores where it is present.

The company claims it is selling its items through nearly 300 modern retail stores such as Godrej’s Nature Basket and Future Group’s Food Hall. It also offers its products online through portals like Amazon and BigBasket. “We are hoping to increase our retail presence to at least 500 stores, mainly in metros and tier-I cities,” said Subramanian.

The company is also exploring the possibility of processing the food items. It has partnered with Sonepat-based National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, an institution under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

The company is also a part of IIMAvericks Programme, a CIIE initiative that invites IIM Ahmedabad alumni to pledge their support for graduating students.

Since 2009, CIIE has made nearly 90 investments, reached out to over 30,000 startups and budding entrepreneurs and has mentored about 2,000 startups through the MentorEdge network. 

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