Online food discovery platform Ketchupp has secured Rs 3 crore ($440,000) in seed funding led by early-stage investment firm India Quotient. A group of unnamed angel investors also invested in the round.
The startup will use the funds to develop its technology to become a suggestion-based platform instead of a search engine, and to grow its team, a report in The Economic Times stated.
The company differentiates itself from popular food ordering platforms like Zomato and Swiggy by offering up a list of dishes, rather than restaurants. The dishes are recommended based on crowdsourced suggestions. It also presents a price comparison across different food joints.
Ketchupp, owned by DI Infosolutions Pvt Ltd, currently operates in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The startup was founded in 2015 by finance professional Chirag Taneja, along with IIT Delhi alumni Abdul Khalid and Narender Kumar.
"The revenue model is more advertisement and lead driven. Hence, the company will be light in operations and will have business economics of a high-tech media company," Anand Lunia, co-founder at India Quotient was quoted as telling The Economic Times.
The online food ordering business in India is estimated to be worth around Rs 6,000 crore, growing at about 30% month on month, according to a report by India Brand Equity Foundation, released last year. However, this segment is transaction-driven and margins are wafer-thin. Last year, many food tech startups shut down, paused operations, tweaked their business models or reduced their staff count as it became increasingly difficult for them to raise fresh funds. Despite the weak unit economics of the segment, the food tech space has seen some investment activity in the past few months.
Last month, food delivery startup Mr Hot Foods Pvt. Ltd secure seed funding from angel investor Pawan Raj Kumar through the IvyCamp platform. In the same month, Delivery Hero Holding GmbH, which runs Delivery Hero, acquired Rocket Internet's entire global operations of Foodpanda. The acquisition brought together two top food delivery startups based in Germany.
In November 2016, Bangalore-based MonkeyBox Food Tech Pvt. Ltd, which delivers healthy food for children, raised funds from early stage investor Blume Ventures and a clutch of high net-worth individuals (HNIs). Bats on Delivery, an on-demand food and essential commodities delivery services firm, raised angel funding from a Delhi-based businessman.
In September 2016, food-tech startup Idea Chakki Pvt. Ltd secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Ratan Tata, interim chairman of Tata Sons.
Recent investments made by India Quotient include online marketplace for international freight services Comet, online lender CreditMate, home-cooked food portal Holachef and a regional language social networking app ShareChat.