On-demand meal service startup Frsh.com has raised under $1 million in a bridge round of funding from Mumbai Angels, Roposo co-founder Mayank Bhangdia and existing investor Kae Capital.
Frsh.com, run by Gurgaon-based Fingertip Foods Pvt Ltd will use the money for expansion, co-founder and CEO Badal Goel told Techcircle.in.
Founded in January 2014, Frsh.com is positioning itself in the healthy eating segment. It prepares 20 items such as sandwiches, salads and beverages at its three kitchens in Noida, Gurgaon and Delhi for delivery in the three cities.
The 60-employee company plans to start operations in Bangalore and Mumbai over the next three months.
"After reaching a reasonably big scale in Gurgaon a couple of months back, we realised that we would need to make some important changes in our operations if we want to reach a similar scale in other cities," Goel said. "This funding gave us the necessary fuel to make the changes without worrying too much about numbers."
Without divulging many details on the changes, Goel said Frsh has streamlined vendor procurement and altered menu options.
The bridge funding comes after Frsh.com raised $518,000 in seed funding from early-stage investors India Quotient and Kae Capital in February.
Badal Goel founded Frsh in Jan 2014 while Sumit Kumar, who joined as a co-founder later, quit the company this year.
The company assures delivery within 60 minutes. It says delivery time will reduce as it has plans to join hands with hyperlocal delivery startups.
Goel said orders received are automatically allocated to appropriate delivery slots that are 15 minutes apart. "Hence, we have a cycle of 15 minutes in which all orders are prepared, packed and dispatched in batches," he said.
Other food-tech startups
The food-tech segment has become a red-hot investment destination for both angel and venture capital investors. Startups in this segment either offer an ordering platform from restaurants (Foodpanda, TinyOwl, Zomato and others) or run their own kitchens/cafes (Box8, Dropkaffe, Frsh.com and others).
Companies such as MealHopper, Bite Club, Yumist and SpoonJoy connect consumers to independent chefs or offer food ordering from in-house kitchens. Ventures such as InnerChef and iChef offer a platform for ready-to-cook products.
Yesterday, Techcircle.in reported that MealHopper secured $100,000 in seed funding from ixigo.com co-founders Alok Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar. Earlier, gourmet meals portal iChef.in raised an undisclosed amount from Springboard Ventures, an investment arm of media house Times Group's holding company Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd.
But lately, the segment is showing signs of distress as a few startups have either shut shop or are downsizing operations.
Mobile-only food ordering startup TapCibo Online Solutions Pvt Ltd, which operated under the brand Dazo, closed operations earlier this month. Mumbai-based TinyOwl, which offers a location-based mobile app for ordering food, has shed jobs.
Cash-strapped SpoonJoy, backed by Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, recently shut down its operations in Delhi and parts of Bangalore. Foodpanda is revoking over 500 restaurants every month as it deals with allegations of operational irregularities.
Last week, restaurant listing and services company Zomato said it was laying off around 300 employees worldwide, or nearly 10 per cent of its workforce.