PVR Ltd, the country’s largest multiplex chain operator, has acquired 70 per cent stake in Zea Maize Pvt Ltd, which runs the Delhi-based popcorn chain 4700BC Popcorn. PVR paid Rs 5 crore ($760,000) to buy the majority stake, according to Chirag Gupta, co-founder and CEO, 4700BC Popcorn.
The two-year-old food startup would operate independently. It will primarily serve its gourmet popcorns to around 35 PVR cinemas and later extend the service to its other screens.
The startup was already delivering its products to DT Cinemas, the multiplex unit of realtor DLF Ltd that was recently acquired by PVR, and some small other cinemas in Delhi.
“We are raising the money primarily for expansion and looking to increase the number of outlets from present seven to around 25 by the end of this year,” Gupta told VCCircle.
Gupta, who was earlier working with Deloitte Consulting Services in the US, said he is mainly targeting metro and tier-I cities for expansion.
The popcorn chain is also looking to enter the retail market by tying up with several supermarket majors by next year. “We would get into partnership with Hypercity, Reliance Retail and other chains to sell packaged popcorns to people visiting in these markets,” said Gupta.
The firm was launched in March, 2013 by Gupta and his friend Ankur Gupta (not related), who is a utensil businessman. “I wanted something that was present in the US, but not available in India. Gourmet popcorn was one of those things,” said Gupta.
The brand was named 4700BC Popcorn based on the belief that the food item was discovered during that period in South America. The initial funding came from the family and friends. “We invested Rs 1.25 crore to come up with our first outlet in Delhi,” he said.
The company’s popcorn, which comes with a price tag of of Rs 65-800, is served in more than 25 flavours. Besides its outlets, the brand also offers its service to weddings, birthday parties and corporate events.
The news of the investment was first reported by The Economic Times.