WEH Ventures, others back ready to cook D2C brand MasterChow
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MasterChow, an Asian cuisine-focused direct-to-consumer (D2C) and ready-to-cook brand, has raised Rs 3.5 crore (around $462,000) in a seed funding round led by WEH Ventures with the participation of angel investors.  

The company said it will use the funds to double down on its manufacturing capabilities, product development, hiring new talent and geographic expansion plans.

The company said it has grown revenue over 10x in the last twelve months. Currently, the brand is shipping to 17,000 pin codes (2800 cities) across India.  

“With a strategic focus on convenience, our product range offers innovative flavours in an easy-to-use format. Our customers come from across the board, from young couples, millennials to larger family households spread across different geographies and with the current fundraise, we plan to enter new categories while increasing current manufacturing capabilities and go deeper with our online footprint,” said Sidhanth Madan, co-founder of MasterChow.

Founded in June 2020 by Vidur Kataria and Sidhanth Madan, the brand operated by MasterChow Foods Pvt Ltd, focuses on two categories of demographics - millennials aged between 25-44 years who are leading fast-paced lives, are crunched for time and are looking to experiment with cuisines and larger joint households preparing comfort meals, looking to make a shift from the conventional food, it said.  

The D2C startup said it has a team size of 25 members, including the corporate and operations teams, and is planning to double the size of its corporate team over the next 12 months.  

The brand currently offers 3 main categories – sauces, condiments and Asian noodle range, it said.  

According to Avendus Capital’s report, the D2C food and beverage market stood at $5.5 billion in 2020, and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 40% to touch $15 billion by 2025. India is one of the largest retail markets in the world, projected to surpass $1.7 trillion by 2025.

The year 2021 has seen homegrown D2C startup brands draw more than $250 million from venture capital (VC) investors in the first half of 2021, nearly as much as the total sum invested in such businesses through 2020. Investor appetite for D2C brands, whetted last year by pandemic tailwinds, has accelerated across categories, it added.

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