Mumbai: Delhi-based Yumist, a food tech start-up that operates in the daily meals segment, is in talks with venture capital investors to raise around $2 million to scale up operations, said two people aware of the development.
“They are in the market and are talking to various investors, looking to raise at least $2 million. The idea is to significantly scale up their operations in Delhi-NCR (national capital region),” said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.
Yumist was founded in November 2014 by Alok Jain and Abhimanyu Maheswari. Jain previously worked as chief marketing officer at food tech start-up Zomato and coupons site DealsAndYou. Maheshwari previously dabbled in various restaurant businesses.
Yumist serves home-style meals, which it prepares in its own kitchens. The start-up recently opened a 12,000 square feet kitchen to serve the Delhi-NCR market.
The food tech start-up is backed by Ronnie Screwvala’s fund Unilazer Ventures and Rehan Yar Khan’s Orios Venture Partners.
In December 2015, Yumist raised $2 million in a round led by Unilazer Ventures. Existing investor Orios Venture Partners also participated in the round. Orios invested $1 million in the company in February 2015.
Emails and text messages sent to Yumist co-founder Alok Jain and Orios Venture Partners founder Rehan Yar Khan did not elicit any response. Emails sent to Unilazer Ventures too went unanswered.
According to the second person cited above, the company will also look at again expanding its services beyond Delhi-NCR, after having shut down its Bengaluru operations in May.
“The sector has gone through a lot of churn in the last 12 months and that has reduced the competition in the food-tech space. So there is a scope for surviving start-ups to look at expanding their operations. Investor interest is also returning to branded food-tech start-ups such as Yumist,” said the second person mentioned above, also requesting anonymity.
Earlier in October, Mint reported that food-tech start-up Holachef is in talks to raise $6 million, in its latest round of fundraising, from Kalaari Capital and Sidbi Venture Capital Ltd.
In August, YumLane, a branded food tech start-up raised seed funding, in a round led by Flipkart’s CEO Binny Bansal.
“Branded food-tech companies whether FreshMenu, YumLane, Yumist, Innerchef, Box8 and others, each are performing reasonably well in their geographies. Investors are seeing more value in branded food-tech start-ups compared to the aggregator model, given that the margins are better and one has control over the quality of the food,” said Vishal Pereira, managing director at Bengaluru-based advisory firm CreedCap Asia Advisors.
Branded food-tech start-ups are also working around rationalizing logistics costs and are experimenting with slotted deliveries, much more capital efficient than on-demand delivery, he added.
Food-tech start-ups in India have gone through a tough time in the last one year, as investors slowed the pace of funding in Indian start-ups.
In June Mint reported that hyperlocal delivery start-up Roadrunnr had acquired food ordering firm TinyOwl Technology Pvt. Ltd.
In February, Gurgaon-based Fingertip Foods Pvt. Ltd, which operated online meal service startup Frsh.com, closed its operations in Noida and Delhi, laying off 20 employees in the process, reported VCCircle.com.