Control Alt Foods Pvt. Ltd, which markets healthy snacks under the brand The Green Snack Co, has raised its angel round of funding from two wealthy individuals, a top company executive told VCCircle.
Jasmine Kaur, CEO of the startup, said the funding will be primarily used to widen its distribution base. “From 20 cities currently, we would like to move to top 35 cities in the country. Our immediate focus is to cover metros and Tier-I cities,” Kaur said.
The capital will be also used for product development and product launches, branding and hiring more professionals.
The firm, which was launched in April 2015 by Kaur, has raised Rs 3.4 crore ($500,000) from Riddhesh Gandhi, former head of healthcare and consumer investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Harshita Gandhi, who is founder of gourmet food maker Tree of Life Pvt. Ltd (both are related).
The company claims to be offering a range of healthy snacks, including kale chips and quinoa puffs. These products are available in three flavours each.
Kale chips are prepared through a unique process of dehydration that does not involve baking or frying while Quinoa puffs are roasted that keeps the nutrient value and raw goodness of the ingredients intact, Kaur said.
“We liked the vision of Jasmine and her team whose goal is to own the healthy snacking category which we think will continue to gain traction given the increasing focus on health and wellness,” said Riddhesh Gandhi.
Gandhi said the size of Indian snacking market is Rs 19,000 crore with the sweet and savoury segment growing at over 16% yearly.
The health snacks segment, which is still at a nascent stage in the country, hasn’t seen too many deals in the past. Naturell India Pvt. Ltd, which also offers non-baked and non-fried savoury snacks among other items, was looking to raise its first external round of funding from domestic venture capital firms to expand its footprint.
Companies operating in the larger snacks space have attracted several PE investors in the last couple of years. Prataap Snacks Pvt. Ltd, the maker of Yellow Diamond Chips, raised a round of external funding before it filed papers with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for a public offering estimated to be worth over Rs 400 crore.
In 2014, mid-market-focused private equity firm Lighthouse invested$15 million in Rajasthan-based snacks maker Bikaji Foods International Ltd to pick a 12.5% equity stake.
In another deal that year, WestBridge Capital Partners picked nearly 25% stake in DFM Foods, the maker of salted snacks under the 'Crax' brand, from its promoters for Rs 64.5 crore or a little over $10 million then.
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