InnerChef, a Gurgaon-based food tech startup, has announced that Mistletoe has lead the company’s latest funding round of $2.5 Million. This is Mistletoe’s first investment in India. Other investors who also participated in this round include M&S Fund Singapore, among others.
Mistletoe is funded and owned by Taizo Son, a serial entrepreneur and youngest brother of Masayoshi Son, Chairman of SoftBank. He is also the founder of Japan-based mobile gaming company GungHo, in which SoftBank had acquired a 51% share in 2013 for $1.53 billion. GungHo bought back most of its shares from SoftBank earlier this year.
InnerChef co-founder Rajesh Sawhney said,
I believe this deal is about laying the foundation of a long-term partnership between two unique organizations InnerChef and Mistletoe that have a shared vision of future with regards to food and agriculture. I also think InnerChef has a very different vision and a differentiated product experience from the rest of the companies in this space. We plan to invest in building a high growth food-tech platform and differentiate our experience even further. We have started adding more kitchens across our four metros of NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Our focus is to deepen our presence in these four metros for the next six months.
InnerChef was founded in 2015 by Rajesh Sawhney, Sanjeev Singhal and Bal DiGhent. It offers ready-to-eat meals, ready-to-cook meals and a wide choice of desserts. It is currently operational in seven Indian cities and ships over 100,000 meals per month.
The company plans to enable 10,000 women entrepreneurs on its platform in coming 5 years. In March 2016, InnerChef had acqui-hired two startups – Bengaluru-based EatonGo and Gurgaon-based Flavour Labs.
Commenting on this investment, Atisushi Tairo, chief growth officer, Mistletoe, said,
Mistletoe explored investment opportunities of the corrective impacts on food and farming sector. We believe that InnerChef would become the crucial model of improving the food and farming ecosystem in India.
He further added that the firm sees the chaos in various Indian sectors as an opportunity to leapfrog by leveraging the latest technologies of AI, robotics, IoT, and internet. He added:
There is an attractive pool of talent that consist of ex-Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and smart young people graduating from top-notch universities. Huge opportunities plus upcoming technologies and infrastructure make India a big interest for us.