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Food-tech startup InnerChef appoints Sanjeev Singhal as CTO

Sanjeev Singhal, CTO, InnerChef

Sanjeev Singhal, CTO, InnerChef

InnerChef Pvt Ltd, which delivers ready-to-cook meals, has appointed Sanjeev Singhal as its new co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO).

Singhal previously served as the CTO of iProf Learning Solutions and Reliance Entertainment – BigFlix. He has also worked with India Today Group and Times Internet, and is an alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad.

Singhal joined InnerChef about a month back.

InnerChef had raised Rs 11 crore ($1.6 million) in pre-series A funding from Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Redbus co-founder Phanindra Sama, Shaadi.com’s Anupam Mittal and other tech investors in September this year.

The food-tech startup was started by GSF Accelerator’s Rajesh Sawney along with four other co-founders. Sawhney is the former president of Reliance Entertainment and founder of GSF Superangels in India.

InnerChef was launched in April this year and follows US-based Blue Apron’s business model. It delivers pre-cooked, sliced food with all necessary ingredients as well as the recipe packed in a kit with last-mile preparation to be done by the customer.

The online food ordering business in India is estimated to be worth around 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 segment is transaction-driven and margins are wafer thin. Broadly, startups in the sector can be categorised on the basis of the three main business models. The first set comprises ventures such as TinyOwl, which provide software-only marketplaces that act as selling points for restaurants. The second group includes hyper-local food delivery services like Foodpanda and Swiggy, which bring the traffic and manage the logistics. Finally, there are full-stack food businesses like Food Vista and Brekkie.

It has been a year of mixed fortunes for the food-tech startups. A few startups have shut shop or have downsized operations.

According to some estimates, about half of the food-tech firms operating in India started in the past year. As per VCCEdge, 19 food-tech startups have raised about $160 million in venture capital funding so far in 2015. Only five companies managed to raise money twice.

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