Lil’ Goodness and sCoolMeal, a children-focused food and nutrition startup, has raised $400,000 (Rs 2.83 crore at current exchange rate) in seed funding from a clutch of investors.
Those who invested in the Happytizers Pvt. Ltd-operated entity include ex-UST Global chief executive officer Sajan Pillai, former Tata Health CEO Muthu Krishnan and the family of Lalit Pai, co-founder of Nightingales Home Healthcare.
Pillai is also CEO, founder and managing partner of Season Two Ventures. He invested in Lil’ Goodness in this personal capacity. VCCircle had said in April he plans to launch a venture capital fund to invest in startups focusing on Kerala.
The Bengaluru-based company said that it will use the funding to enhance its product offerings, launch packaged food products, acquire and expand operations and improve customer experience through technology.
“With the fresh funds’ infusion, we plan to scale up and consolidate our presence 5 times in Bengaluru as well as expand to other major markets in the next 6 months. We will also look to build our reach and distribution network with educational partners while creating a strong online presence,” Happytizers co-founder and CEO Harshvardhan said.
Pillai said he was confident in Lil’ Goodness’s ability to carve a space for itself in the child-focused nutrition space. “Globally, sustainable billion-dollar enterprises have been built on this very premise -- we see immense potential in the vision and passion of this team to build such a business over a period of time,” he said.
Lil’ Goodness, set up in 2018, says it has conducted over 1,000 hours of research with mothers on their expectations for children’s nutrition, and that it also consults experts such as paediatricians and dieticians. sCoolMeal is a meal subscription service for school children and children at day-care centres.
The startup says its products are packaged using environment-friendly materials, and that the products themselves are made using natural and freshly-sourced ingredients that are free from preservatives.
Lil’ Goodness joins a bunch of other startups that are focusing on the nutritious and healthy food segment, with the space at large receiving steady investor attention.
In September, for example, healthy food company Kaarya Naturals Pvt. Ltd raised an undisclosed sum from Roots Ventures, a Mumbai-based multi-stage and sector-agnostic investment platform. Mumbai-based Kaarya markets its products, including a range of protein and healthy bars, under the Eighty20 brand.
In January, incubation platform Venture Catalysts said that it had invested in snacks brand Keeros Foods Pvt. Ltd in the startup's seed funding round. Keeros was launched last year and sells products such as multi-seed and multi-grain supersnacks. Its products are available in about 230 retail outlets in Lucknow and Kanpur, and were launched in Delhi-NCR in December.