Online multi-restaurant cloud kitchen chain Rebel Foods, that owns popular brands like Faasos, OvenStory, Behrouz Biryani, Lunch Box, Mandarin Oak among other has scooped up a staggering $125 million round from several large investors.
California based capital market company Coatue Management, Goldman Sachs, and Indonesian foodtech firm GoJek along with a few others have together put in fresh funds in Rebel Foods to help the “world’s largest internet restaurant company” scale its business.
Valued at $525 million for the round, the Jaydeep Barman led firm is currently in the works to expand operations into SEA and the Middle East. Here GoJek becomes a strategic investor in the firm, forming a partnership where the two plan on setting up 100 cloud kitchens, that will process food from all conventional cuisines as well as the locally popular dishes of Indonesia like Nasi Goreng.
The timeline set for SEA plan is 1.5 years. As far as Middle East expansion is concerned, the initial plan is to open 20 cloud kitchens in the United Arab Emirates by the end of 2019.
The firm currently operates a network of 235 cloud kitchens in 20 Indian cities. The order volume is 2 million orders per month, with around 60 lunch orders in a week and around 180 of these on the weekends.
Initially, the chain had started out as a brick and mortar restaurant chain under the brand name Faasos. When Barman and Kallol Banerjee founded and Sequoia-backed kebab wrap selling restaurant chain had to shut down due to rent problems, the duo pivoted to a cloud kitchen online model.
The cloud kitchen industry has been picking up speed in India in the past few years with deep pockets players like Swiggy started Swiggy Access – a programme focussed on the segment. Players like InnerChef and FreshMenu have also gained popularity.
Foodpanda, that saw its core business fail due to high competition and burn rate requirements also shifted focus to cloud kitchens with HolaChef and other acquired cloud kitchens due to the viability of the model that provides greater returns and makes operations easier.
Not long ago, SoftBank backed OYO started its own cloud kitchen gig with brands like Adraq by OYO and others selling the food prepared in hotel kitchens via delivery platforms like Zomato, Swiggy, and UberEats.
The massive funding round for Faasos comes at the right time, as it not only allows it the funds needed for expansion but also to fight competition. The competition that consists of unicorns backed by large investors like Naspers and SoftBank.
This development was first reported by Bloomberg.