Exclusive: Cloud kitchen platform Freshmenu raises close to $500k in fresh funding

Exclusive: Cloud kitchen platform Freshmenu raises close to $500k in fresh funding
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26 Aug, 2019

After the failed acquisition talks with budget hotels aggregator OYO, Bengaluru-based cloud kitchen Freshmenu has raise $494,575 in a bridge round.

Foodvista India, which operates the venture, raised this sum earlier this month from independent corporate trustee and corporate services provider Vistra ITCL, according to the company’s latest filings with the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA).

Mumbai-based Vistra ITCL, which has service offerings across corporate formations, fiduciary trust, fund administration and international back offices, usually acts as a trustee on behalf of an investor, acting more like an investment facilitation vehicle. So, it could not be immediately ascertained whether the Mumbai-based entity was indeed the investor.

According to TechCircle estimates, Freshmenu’s valuation would be between $47-$50 million.

E-mail queries sent to Rashmi Daga, founder of Freshmenu, seeking more information on this round of funding did not elicit a response at the time of filing this report.

In  January this year, TechCircle reported that it had raised $2.94 million in a fresh funding round from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Zodius Technology fund and serial entrepreneur K Ganesh’s Growthstory.

The latest development comes amidst a couple of developments. Freshmenu, which is reportedly facing operational pressure headwinds over a prolonged funds crunch, has put itself on the block.

FreshMenu’s last known major funding round was in January 2016 when it raised $17 million at a valuation of nearly $41 million. Prior to that, it had raised $5 million in a Series A funding round of funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners in early 2015.

Also Read: Does cloud kitchen FreshMenu have a Plan B?

Last month, TechCircle, citing people directly in the know, had reported that talks with OYO for a potential acquisition had fallen apart over disagreements in valuation.

At the centre of the reportedly failed acquisition talks was the figure of $30 million, the figure which OYO cited as the valuation for Freshmenu, which is nearly $20 million less than its current estimated valuation.

Freshmenu had approached a host of players in the foodtech sector that includes Ola-owned Foodpanda India and Rebel Foods of Faasos fame to explore synergies or merger opportunities.

Speculations about this potential acquisition deal surfaced as early as in February 2019 when The Economic Times reported that OYO was in talks to acquire the startup for $50-60 million.

Recent funding deals

Rebel Foods had recently raised $5 million from Indonesia-born ride-hailing unicorn Go-Jek last month. The infusion was part of the Mumbai-based company's larger ongoing Series D funding round. In March this year, the company had raised $15.8 million as part of its Series D round, led by existing investor Sequoia Capital India.

Box8, another cloud kitchen player, raised $15 million in a Series C round led by Alibaba Group-backed technology vehicle eWTP Ecosystem Fund with participation from existing investors Mayfield and IIFL Seed Ventures fund. 

Gurgaon-based cloud kitchen provider InnerChef, that delivers ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals, raised $6.5 million in a pre-Series B round to expand its presence across India.