DSG Consumer Partners invests in ethnic snack food maker Tierra

Kerala-based Tierra Food India Pvt Ltd has raised a fresh round of funding by selling a significant minority equity stake to DSG Consumer Partners for an undisclosed amount.

The ethnic snack food maker, founded by Alex Thomas, earlier raised funding from angels investors like CJ George (MD at Geojit BNP Paribas), Kochouseph Chittilappilly (founder & MD at V Guard) and Rajeev Agrawal (managing partner at Ambit Pragma Ventures).

Tierra was founded by Thomas to address the demand for high quality branded ethnic snacks with an initial focus on South India. Tierra plans to use the funding to scale its operations by expanding its sales network, increasing consumer promotion spends, introducing innovative products and increasing research & development.

With facilities located at Adoor, Kerala, Tierra started commercial production in May 2012 and has developed and successfully launched cassava and banana chips under the Kappo and Banano brands. The company has built a distributor network in Kerala reaching over 30,000 retail outlets and has recently entered Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

“We are proud of the business and brands we have built and excited about the significant growth opportunities in the coming years. We are excited to have DSG as our partner given their experience in the consumer and food processing sector and we believe our partnership with DSG and their guidance will help accelerate our growth going forward," said Thomas, who is also CEO of Tierra.

“There is a large opportunity in the food processing and consumer segments with ethic snacks being a fast growing category. We are excited to work with Alex and his team and to leverage our experience of building other successful consumer and food processing businesses in India. Kerala has a very large agricultural base and it is a natural location for a business doing value-added processing for local produce," said Deepak I Shahdadpuri, managing director of DSG.

DSG Consumer Partners, which focuses on early stage consumer businesses in Asia and India, invests between $1 million to $10 million in companies with an investment horizon of 6 to 10 years. Its investments include Exito Gourmet Pvt Ltd, a Chandigarh-based cheese maker and India's largest winemaker Nashik Vintners. It portfolio also includes Bakers Circle, Indian Home Gourmet, Saffronart, Cleartrip, Salt Water Café and Smoke House Restaurants.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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