Cricketer Yuvraj Singh-backed early-stage investment firm YouWeCan Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in Cybiz BrightStar Restaurants Pvt Ltd, the Indian franchisee of American burger chain brand Carl’s Jr.
This is YouWeCan Ventures’ first investment in quick service restaurant (QSR) space and seventh since it started investing in April.
Cybiz said the deal valued it at over $30 million (Rs 190 crore). Previously, Cybiz raised $2 million from other private investors, including Delhi-based Now Foods.
Sana Chopra, executive director, Cybiz BrightStar Restaurants, said, “In terms of brand association, a tie-up with Yuvraj hits the spot with his established status as a youth icon. People know and love him for his dynamism and talent. This is an excellent fit viz-a-viz our target consumers.”
Yuvraj Singh said, “The vertical of QSR, especially burgers, caught my attention in the last few months as the space has got a thumbs-up from Indian consumers. What Carl’s Jr. offers in terms of its menu offering is unique and something that I relate to as an individual.”
He will also be involved in brand building activities for Carl’s Jr.
The burger chain is opening its first outlet in Delhi this weekend and Cybiz plans to open 100 outlets in 10 years across metros and tier I & II cities.
Carl’s Jr. is entering a market dominated by McDonald’s. Two other chains trying to make a mark in the burger business is Dunkin’ Donuts, run by Jubilant Foodworks that also runs franchise of Domino’s in India; and Burger King, which launched as a joint venture with private equity firm Everstone’s restaurant platform.
“India represents a tremendous market opportunity and we see the potential for more than 1,000 restaurants over time. We hope that our India customers will recognise that we have made a sincere effort to tailor our menu to the Indian palate by offering rich, intense flavors and a variety of innovative vegetarian options,” said Ned Lyerly, president, international at CKE Restaurants, the parent of Carl’s Jr chain.
Carl’s Jr chain has 3,500 licensed and company owned restaurants across 36 countries.
For YouWecan, this comes as a back-to-back deal after it put money in Cartisan, Healthians, Edukart, Moovo, Vyomo and JetSetGo – an online marketplace for booking private jets.