Yo! China parent eyes $45M funding

Matrix Partners-backed Moods Hospitality Pvt Ltd, which runs Chinese fast-food restaurant chain Yo! China, is looking to raise over Rs 300 crore ($45 million) to expand its casual and aspirational dining brands Dimsumbros and The Wine Company.

The company is opening a lounge restaurant Antares in Goa in equity partnership with Masterchef Australia finalist Sarah Todd next month and will hit the road to raise fresh funding after that. It is also eyeing an overseas expansion by launching Antares restaurants in Australia and South Africa in two years, the company's co-founder and managing director Ashish Kapur, told The Economic Times. The newspaper added that the money will be used to launch over 20 Dimsumbros outlets and 10 The Wine Company restaurants across the country. Currently, it has one unit each for both the brands.

The company, which is primarily known for Yo! China, also runs Yo! China Café. Three years ago, it had formed a joint venture with a private investor who owns MNK Retailhouse Pvt Ltd in India to open Yo! China Café outlets. It currently has 60 Yo! China restaurants in 22 cities.

Interestingly, it was looking to venture into neighbouring countries’ via the JV or master franchisee model for the last few years. Earlier, it was planning to launch one outlet each in Nepal and Maldives. It also wanted to spread its operations in South Africa with one outlet each in Cape Town and Durban.

An email sent to the company spokesperson on the strategy and why the overseas expansion got delayed did not elicit any response.

The firm had received its first round of funding of Rs 27 crore in 2007 from Matrix Partners India.

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