IAN invests in Mumbai-based QSR Poncho

Indian Angel Network has invested an undisclosed amount in Mumbai-based quick service restaurant Poncho. The startup, which serves Mexican food, follows the fast-food model. As part of the investment, IAN member Kaushal Aggarwal will join the company as an advisor.

“Our target audience are young working individuals in the 22-40 years range who are looking for a quick food fix (because of the lack of time) but do not want to compromise on the quality of the food,” said Amit Gupta, co-founder, Poncho.

The startup was founded by IIT alumni Gupta and Amit Raj, who have earlier worked at companies including Walmart and Deutsche Bank. As of now, the outlet is focused on the offline model, but Gupta said online ordering will also be added to the mix in the coming months.

Poncho began as a single outlet (in Mumbai) in September 2011, and has since grown to a chain of six outlets and a team of 35. The investment will help the company to increase this number to 15 by the end of this year. It will also enable the startup to expand into other cities like Pune (early 2013) and Hyderabad or Bangalore (later part of 2013). As of now, the outlets are strategically placed in areas that have corporate offices (like Bandra-Kurla Complex, Powai, Thane, etc.), but the company will also target residential areas in the future.

The food provided by the restaurant lies in the sub-Rs 100 range and according to Gupta, the average transactions (per day) are in the 100-120 range.

This is IAN’s first foray in the F&B space and the investment (in Poncho) takes its total number of investments this year to 10. In 2012, IAN has already invested Rs 2 crore in Mumbai-based tech startup Birds Eye Systems Pvt Ltd, a company specialising in intelligent traffic monitoring solutions; Rs 3.25 crore in Mumbai-based Peel-Works, a Cloud-enabled sales force transformation and BPO firm; around $1 million in Gamiana Digital Gaming Pvt Ltd, a three-year-old Mumbai-based digital gaming startup; and $0.5 million in Chennai-based StayZilla.com, a hotel booking site.

Other investments this year include undisclosed amounts in Bangalore-based social gaming startup HashCube Technologies Pvt Ltd and Aurus Network Infotech Pvt Ltd, a cloud-based SaaS solutions company for lecture capturing and publishing.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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