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Matrix Partners, Paytm and Snapdeal founders back healthy snacks startup Open Secret

Venture capital firm Matrix Partners and a clutch of affluent individuals including Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma have invested in healthy snacks startup Open Secret.

Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, and Godrej Consumer Products Ltd CEO Vivek Gambhir have also invested, the startup said in a statement. It didn’t disclose the amount it raised.

The startup, operated by ImmaculateBites Pvt. Ltd, will use the funding to hire professionals, and build its technological capabilities and a distribution network.

The company, which was launched in January by Ahana Gautam and Udit Kejriwal this year, offers cookies mainly for kids that contain nuts and chocolates as primary ingredients.

“We are committed to addressing a mother’s guilt by providing better options and enabling her to make winning choices for the family,” said Gautam.

Gautam, an alumnus of IIT-Bombay, had earlier worked with Procter & Gamble and General Mills before floating the venture. Kejriwal, an IIT-Kharagpur graduate, had been previously associated with P&G and McKinsey.

The startup says it intends to establish its presence through e-commerce players such as Amazon and Flipkart as well as large-format modern retail chains.

“Open Secret is targeting the children’s snacking white-space, with a unique combination of taste and health, something both children and mothers can love,” said Sanjot Majhi, vice president at Matrix India.

Healthy snacks

The healthy snacks segment has recorded a few transactions in the recent past. Last month, for instance, Matrix Partners and Sauce.vc provided seed funding to protein bar maker And Nothing Else, a company launched by a former Unilever executive earlier this year.

In July, early-stage investment firm Ankur Capital backed healthy snacks maker To Be Healthy Foods Pvt Ltd.

In January, a unit of Parle Products Pvt. Ltd, which owns the popular biscuit brand Parle-G, invested in healthy snack bar maker WIMWI Foods Pvt. Ltd.

In December 2018, Nutrisattva Foods Pvt. Ltd, which offers protein-based functional foods under the Proliva brand, had secured funding from the Mumbai Angels Network. Three months before, the network invested in Pune’s Rev Snack Pvt. Ltd, which sells fruit snacks under the brand Frubites.

In June 2018, homegrown private equity firm Rabo Equity Advisors Pvt. Ltd invested in Naturell India Pvt. Ltd, which makes nutrition bars under the Rite Bite brand. In the same month, Wholesome Habits Pvt. Ltd, which sells healthy snack bars under the brand name Eat Anytime, secured seed funding from early-stage investment firm Sprout Venture Partners and a few high-net-worth individuals.

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