Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla invests in cookie maker Sweetish House Mafia
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Cookie maker Sweetish House Mafia has raised Rs 12 crore ($1.7 million) in its pre-Series A round of funding from Adar Poonawalla, CEO at vaccine maker Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.

The Mumbai-based cookie maker will use the capital to grow its presence in its existing markets and expand its product line in the fresh gourmet category, it said in a statement.

Sweetish House was started in 2013 by Neha Sethi and her brother-in law Aakash Sethi. Neha, an alumni of Wharton School of Business, was an investment banker prior to setting up this venture. Aakash is an MBA graduate from the University of Massachusetts.

The duo started their first store in Mumbai in 2014. Since then, the company has expanded to eight locations in Mumbai, one each in Kolkata and Pune and two in Bengaluru.

Poonawalla runs Serum Institute, one of the world’s largest vaccine makers in terms of doses produced. The company was started in 1966 by his father Cyrus, who is among the richest Indians.

The food and beverage segment, particularly related to healthy snacks, has recorded a few transactions in the recent past. 

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

In November, Matrix Partners and Sauce.vc provided seed funding to protein bar maker And Nothing Else, a company launched by a former Unilever executive.

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, the Mumbai Angels Network provided funding to Nutrisattva Foods Pvt. Ltd, which sells protein-based functional foods under the Proliva brand. Three months before, the network invested in Pune’s Rev Snack Pvt. Ltd, which sells fruit snacks under the brand Frubites.

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