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Exclusive: Food-tech startup First Eat raises $200K in seed investment


Food-tech startup First Eat, run by F. E. Food Tech Pvt Ltd, has raised $200,000 (around Rs 1.4 crore) in seed investment from an undisclosed serial investor, who is an F&B entrepreneur in Gurgaon.

The new capital will be used to expand operations in the NCR region, increase traction on the app, and also build the technology platform, Mannat Wadehra, co-founder, First Eat told Techcircle.in.

First Eat offers standardised and affordable healthy meals through its app, on both on-demand and subscription basis. The app allows users to choose meals according to their health requirements. The startup is currently functional only in Gurgaon.

The startup was founded by Saikat Bagchi, Shitiz Dogra, Mannat Wadehra and Rishabh Tickoo, and launched operations in November last year. Bagchi, Dogra, and Tickoo are alumni of MICA Ahmedabad, while Wadehra is from Great Lakes Institute of Management. Prior to founding the startup, Bagchi worked with AbsolutData in the analytics and consumer insights sector, while Dogra worked at ONGC. Wadehra has previously worked in HCL and Infosys, while Tickoo has worked with InstaLabs and Global Delight.

The app has been downloaded 5000 times, and the startup claims to serve 80-100 meals daily, with a repeat order rate of 77 per cent. The company is aiming to serve 400-500 meals daily by next quarter.

“Our proposition is fairly simple; know what you need, have what you need and let us take care of it,” said Wadehra.

In the healthy meals delivery space, InnerChef Pvt Ltd, a ready-to-cook meals delivery startup floated by GSF Accelerator’s Rajesh Sawhney, has 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. Other players include Faasos and Bite Club.

According to some estimates, about half of the food-tech firms operating in India started in the last one 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. However, the food-tech industry is also witnessing tough times, with startups TinyOwl and Zomato laying off people, and others like Dazo and Eatlo shutting down.

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