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Exclusive: Boibanit gets $150K for meals delivery play

Customers can avail food from multiple restaurants in a single order with Boibanit

Customers can avail food from multiple restaurants in a single order with Boibanit

Food ordering marketplace Boibanit has raised $150,000 in angel funding from R Kumar Textile Group’s Varun Ahuja and investment banker Anubhav Verma.

Boibanit will use the money raised to add more restaurants/locations on the platform and upgrade its technology backend, Abhiudaya Parihar, co-founder, told Techcircle.in.

Started in 2014, Vadodara-based Boiban Business Pvt Ltd (which operates Boibanit) facilitates meals delivery from around 350 restaurants in tier II cities Indore, Lucknow, Surat and Noida besides Vadodara. It will soon expand into Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Ghaziabad.  The startup is adding 3-4 new restaurants to its network every week and claims to process 250-300 deliveries on weekends.  Boibanit takes orders through its web site and call centre.

Boibanit allows customers to avail food from multiple restaurants in a single order, Parihar added.

Boibanit was started by Abhiudaya Parihar, Arunabh Parihar, Ram Manohar Rai, Rohit Gupta and Sudhir Prakash.

Before this venture, Abhiudaya worked as R&D engineer at Toyo Springs while Arunabh and Rai were employed with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Gupta worked at Housing.com while Prakash is an alumnus of NIT, Allahabad.

Startups in the Indian food-tech space either offer an ordering/delivery platform from restaurants (Foodpanda, TinyOwl, Zomato, Boibanit 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.

The online food ordering business in India is estimated to be worth Rs 5,000-6,000 crore, growing at about 30 per cent month-on-month, according to a report by India Brand Equity Foundation. However, this space is transaction-driven and margins can be wafer-thin for food tech companies. The food-tech space has started showing signs of distress. Few startups have either shut shop or have downsized operations.

TapCibo Online Solutions Pvt Ltd, which operated under the brand Dazo, closed operations last month.

Cash-strapped SpoonJoy, backed by Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, shut shop in Delhi and parts of Bangalore. Recently, the Spoonjoy team was inducted by hyper-local grocery and fresh food delivery startup Grofers as part of an acqui-hire deal.  Foodpanda is revoking over 500 restaurants every month as it deals with allegations of operational irregularities.

Few weeks ago, restaurant listing and services company Zomato said it was laying off around 300 employees worldwide, or nearly 10 per cent of its workforce.

Yet, the sector continues to sustain investor interest.

Yesterday, Gurgaon based Twigly, a food-tech startup that delivers meals from its centralised kitchen, raised $200,000 in angel funding from SAIF Partners’ Mukul Singhal, InMobi’s Amit Gupta and other investors.

Recently, 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.

On-demand meal service startup Frsh.com recently raised under $1 million in a bridge round of funding from Mumbai Angels, Roposo co-founder Mayank Bhangdia and existing investor Kae Capital.

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