Rage Coffee raises funding from Refex Capital, Keiretsu Forum

Rage Coffee raises funding from Refex Capital, Keiretsu Forum
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8 Jan, 2020

Rage Coffee, a fast-moving consumer goods brand that focuses on coffee categories, has raised an undisclosed amount from a clutch of investors led by early-stage venture capital firm Refex Capital.

Members of angel network, Keiretsu Forum Chennai, founder and MD of Wazir Advisors Harminder Sahni and former joint MD of CavinKare TD Mohan, also invested in Rage Coffee, the company said in a statement.

Other investors include former TVS Electronics CEO Prakash Katama, former SonyLIV business head Uday Sodhi, Gemini Paints founder A Kumar and Spero Group of Companies managing director Sawan Gupta. TV actor Rannvijay Singh Singha, who invested in the company in July last year, also participated in the the current fundraise.

As part of the transaction, Sahni and Refex managing partner Sridhar Parthasarathi have joined Rage’s board.

The freshly-infused capital will be used to launch new products, scale up production, strengthen the team and expand the company’s omni-channel distribution presence, the company said.

“Our approach to supply chain, sourcing, consumer segmentation, product research and development, direct-to-consumer data-driven DNA combined with a hybrid distribution model, and, most importantly, our close relationship with our customers, places us in a great spot to build a brand poised to capitalise on the immense market opportunity,” said Bharat Sethi, founder and CEO of Rage Coffee.

The company, operated by New Delhi-based Swmabhan Commerce, was founded in 2018 and its products include a proprietary small-batch crystallised coffee infused with plant-based vitamins. It also sells its coffee products in tube shots for portability, and markets and sells merchandise like clothing and flasks. The products are retailed through its own website and over 400 touch points offline. The company plans to quadruple sales, reaching over 2,000 outlets by the end of 2020.

The company had roped in former national sales head at Coke Beverages Arijit Mitra in June 2019 as director of sales to grow its offline business.

“I strongly believe that with Rage Coffee's unique approach towards blends and flavours, innovative packaging and multi-channel distribution, Rage will be disrupting the conventional coffee market quite like CCD did over the past decade,” said Sahni.

According to a Frost & Sullivan report, the functional food and beverages segment in India is still in its initial stages, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17.1% and is expected to be valued at $4 billion in 2020.

Other players in this segment include Mumbai-based Open Secrets and Bengaluru-based Paper Boat.

In December 2019, Open Secret raised funding in a round led by Matrix Partners India and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Snapdeal co founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and CEO of Godrej Consumer Products, Vivek Gambhir.

Home-grown consumer brands have lately attracted a lot of investor interest. Bengaluru-based venture capital firm Fireside ventures, which invests in consumer brands, recently raised $60 million in first close of Fund II. The firm is an investor in companies like Mama Earth and Vahdam Teas.