MTR’s seed fund backs children’s snack brand Timios in debut bet
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FirmRoots Pvt. Ltd, a Bengaluru-based company that sells snacks for children under the Timios brand, has raised an undisclosed amount from the seed fund of packaged food company MTR Foods Pvt. Ltd.

MTR Foods will also mentor Timios on various aspects of the business, including marketing, sales and distribution strategy, food safety standards and management of resources, it said in a press release.

Incorporated in 2016, the company was founded by Chaitanya and Hima Bindu. It makes snacks exclusively for children in the age group of six months to 12 years.

Timios' products include munchies, cereal, energy bars and melts, which the company says are free of artificial flavours, colours and excessive salt and sugar. Timios was previously known as Pinata.

MTR Foods, a subsidiary of Norwegian conglomerate Orkla, had launched its seed fund last year with the objective of mentoring and investing in food-related startups in India over the next two years.

The Bengaluru-headquartered company also aims to pick up stake ranging between 26% and 49% in these startups.

Startups that become part of the MTR Seed Fund will have access to its research and discussion team, as well as to the company's in-house group of chefs, and common services such as branding, legal assistance, treasury and accounting.

MTR Foods is one of the country's largest packaged food companies. It makes a variety of food products which include masala powder, sweet mixes, vermicell, breakfast mixes and masala pastes.

Deals in the space

Among recent deals in the food sector include Aavishkaar Venture Management Services’ investment of Rs 35 crore ($5.37 million) in Bengaluru-based breakfast cereal maker Soulfull in March.

In the same month, ready-to-cook food startup Fingerlix raised Rs 8.5 crore ($1.3 million) from venture debt firm Alteria Capital.

In January, Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia invested Rs 152 crore ($23 million) in Southern Health Foods, which markets its products under the brand ‘Manna Foods’.

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