Exclusive: Food-tech startup MonkeyBox raises seed funding



MonkeyBox Food Tech Pvt. Ltd, which delivers healthy food for children, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed investment from early stage investor Blume Ventures and a clutch of high net-worth individuals (HNIs).

"The fund was mainly used for setting up of our kitchen and we are doing extremely well on traction hitting over 850 orders per day now in Bangalore south from our first cluster kitchen," Sanjay Rao, one of the co-founders of the company, told Techcircle.


The startup was founded in 2016 by Rao, Sandeep Kannambadi and Vijay Bharadwaj. The three co-founders had earlier founded a sports analytics platfrom called Sporting Minds in 2006, which was also backed by Blume Ventures. The startup folded up in 2012.

The Bengaluru-based startup provides healthy vegetarian meals that are designed by nutritionists, which can be delivered to a kid's school directly, just 30 minutes before their breakfast/lunch/snack time.

"Monkeybox founders are passionate and focused about delivering high quality experiences for kids.  At the same time, parents can be assured that their kids are feeding on tasty and nutritious diet balanced in right proportion. With multiple use cases and brand extensions, this can become a highly scalable business model," said Ashish Fafadia, chief financial officer at Blume Ventures.


The foodtech segment has seen strong interest from investors in the past few months, despite being in troubled waters for weak unit economics.

Firms such as Frsh.com, iTiffin, Zuper Meal, MealHopper, Zeppery and Bite Club have closed or curtailed operations, though a few startups have raised funds as well.

The investment flow, however, seems to be back now. Last month, on-demand food delivery services firm Box8 raised $7.5 million (Rs 50 crore then) in Series B funding from IIFL Seed Ventures Fund and existing investor Mayfield.


In September, food-tech startup Idea Chakki Pvt. Ltd has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Ratan Tata, interim chairman of Tata Sons.

In August, Mumbai-based packaged Yumlane raised nearly Rs 6.6 crore ($1 million) in a seed round of funding led by Flipkart co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal and others.

Bengaluru-based food-tech startup Petoo raised $500,000 in the same month from existing investors, Infosys co-founders SD Shibulal and Kris Gopalakrishnan, as well as a clutch of angel investors.


In the healthy dining segment, restaurant chain Sattviko has raised an undisclosed amount of angel investment from a clutch of investors led by Raman Roy this month.

Another startup is First Eat, run by F. E. Food Tech Pvt Ltd, which offers standardised and affordable healthy meals through its app, on both on-demand and subscription basis. It 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, in February this year.

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