Digital-first retail brands Sugar, Snackible, Tagz Foods raise early stage capital

Digital-first retail brands Sugar, Snackible, Tagz Foods raise early stage capital
21 Oct, 2020

Vellvette Lifestyle, the company that owns and operates cruelty-free, online-first cosmetics brand Sugar, raised $2 million in debt capital as part of the first tranche of an ongoing Series C funding round. The debt tranche was led by Stride Ventures and an undisclosed private sector bank participated in the round. The capital will be deployed to meet working capital and inventory requirements and fuel growth through the peak festive sales season, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement.

“SUGAR plays in a high gross margin category which makes debt a fantastic choice for us… we are excited about working with Stride and their partner private bank and announce $2M as the first tranche of the Series C funding that we hope to close later this year,” co-founder and CEO Vineeta Singh said.

Launched in 2015 by IIM Ahmedabad graduates Singh and Kaushik Mukherjee, the brand targets the younger Indian demographic through its range of affordable premium products. In the financial year 2019-2020, the company said it clocked net revenues at Rs. 105 crore.

“The investment in SUGAR reinforces Stride’s continuing preference for homegrown startups that have shown strong company fundamentals. Apart from a ~6x jump in revenue in two years, SUGAR’s hybrid approach, with a robust online as well as offline presence across 2,400 outlets in over 130 cities and strong brand loyalty makes it an attractive proposition,” Stride Ventures said in the statement.

Snackible raises capital for marketing, infrastructure spends

Mumbai-based LightSaber Food Ventures, the company that owns affordable packaged snacks startup Snackible, raised an undisclosed sum in a funding round, dubbed a pre-Series A round, led by Ah! Ventures. Other investors in the round included 1Crowd, JITO and Mumbai Angels.

The startup is also in talks with more institutional investors to raise a larger funding round in the next 12-18 months, it said in a statement. 

The startup will use the capital raised in the current round for marketing and brand building, expand its team and scale infrastructure, it added.

“The ongoing pandemic has made people more health-conscious, driving them towards healthier snacking options. With the demand for packaged snack food rising by about 40% in the organised market, healthy snack food covers only 2-3% of the total demand,” Navin Tekwani, head -- investor relations and strategic alliances at Ah! Ventures who led the deal, said.

Founded in 2015 as an online-first company, Snackible claims to have serviced over 3.5 lakh customers in over 300 cities. It offers a portfolio of over 45 snacking options including vacuum fried vegetable chips, wholewheat and ready to eat waffles, dark chocolate ragi cookies, mango chips and moringa bars. At present, the brand is available via leading modern trade chains, vending machines, cloud kitchens, online marketplaces and B2B clients.

TagZ Foods closes seed round

 QANS Consumer Products, which operates snacking brand Tagz Food, raised an undisclosed sum in a seed funding round led by  9Unicorns. Umang Bedi, co-founder of DailyHunt; Malhar Anaokar. head – cloud business, NetApp; AL Jagannath, senior director at VMWare); Shesh Kondi, senior director at Salesforce; among others participated in the round.

Founded in 2019 by former Healthifyme executives Anish Basu Roy and Sagar Bhalotia, TagZ Foods manufactures popped potato chips that it claims are never fried, never baked and have 50% less fat. 

“There is, currently, a major tech-led transformation afoot in the Indian snack food industry. TagZ Foods is at the forefront of this disruption with its innovative manufacturing processes and specialised foodtech,” Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, co-founder and managing director of 9Unicorns, said in a statement.

TagZ Foods is available on all online platforms such as Amazon, Big Basket, Supr Daily, and over 1,000 premium retail stores in Bengaluru and other cities. Since its launch, the brand claims to have served more than 1 lakh consumers. With the funding, TagZ Foods will now improve its distribution and capacity in other major cities across the country, it said.