…Cooking up a storm

Published: March 3, 2015 12:11 AM

A look at some of the online food start-ups...

Started: 2012
Founder: Pushpinder Singh
Funding: An undisclosed amount from Palaash Ventures  and Rajan Anandan, head, Google India. It is in the process of raising $3-5 million.
Focus: Food delivery service for railway passengers.
Market: 150 cities across
Business model: Marketplace model
The Spark: “The Indian consumer in more conscious than before when it comes to hygiene factor and other health related issues. With the number of organised players increasing in the food businesses, the availability of food has increased. This in turn has made it possible for companies like ours to deliver a good product at a better price,” says Pushpinder Singh, founder and CEO, TravelKhana .

Started: 2014
Founders: Chirag Arya and Sneha Arya
Funding: Self-funded as yet. The company plans to raise Rs 1 crore in the next eight months.
Focus: Delivery of
specialty ingredients
as well as  gourmet
Market: Mumbai and Greater Mumbai
Business model: Inventory based and supply chain based model.
The Spark: “The idea was to make food again part of romance. But rather then paying a hefty amount for a candle light dinner in a restaurant which serves gourmet food, we thought of empowering people with the wherewithal to prepare gourmet food at home at  prices similar to that of fast food,” says Chirag Arya, co-founder, iChef.

Started: 2013
Founders: Tapan Das, former VP, finance, Flipkart;
Ryan Fernando, owner of Qua Nutrition and cricketer Robin Utthappa
Funding:  The company has raised $1.5 million and is aiming to raise $8.5 million in the next one year.
Focus: Tiffin service that offers diet-based meal plans
Market: Bangalore
Business model: Online tiffin service which follows subscription model.
The Spark: “As more time is spent at work, people are left with limited time to cook a nutritious meal. Also with people becoming more health conscious they consult dieticians on the right diet.  Thus we realised that there is a demand for nutrition based meal. So we started iTiffin that provides calorie-defined food,” says Tapan Kumar Das, co-founder, iTiffin.

Started: 2012
Founders: Neha Jain, former solutions consultant, Google India
Focus: Deliveries between 11pm and 4am.
Market: Across Mumbai
except Navi Mumbai, Thane and north of Malad.
Business model: Inventory lead model.
Funding: Self-funded.
The Spark: “The idea came to me when I was living as a single woman in Mumbai and often got back late
from work. I faced the
problem of not getting
anything to eat at night. I got this idea from a friend who used to collect a few munchies from the market and sell it to people at night in the hostel when everything else was shut down,” says Neha Jain, founder and director,
Fly By Knight.

Started:  2011
Founders: Gurmeet Kochhar
Focus: Online tiffin service for professionals
Market: Mumbai
Business model: Subscription model.
Funding: Self-funded so far. The company is aiming to raise funds this year through private equity.
The Spark: “There was always a very strong urge to start something of my own. My research showed that the demand for healthy, home-style food will  grow multifold in the coming years due to factors such as increasing number of nuclear families, working couples with limited free time, and a growing number of people moving to big cities  from all over India,” says Gurmeet Kochhar, founder, SpiceBox.

Started: 2014
Founders: Raghav Kholi and Anshul Narang
Focus: Ready to cook food boxes for gourmet meals.
Market: Gurgaon and Delhi
Business model: Supply chain  and inventory=led model.
Funding: Self-funded
The Spark: “As students in college, we would often have house parties where we cooked for our friends and tried out new recipes.
However, when we started working, we no longer had so much free time as a result of which we ended up cooking only on weekends. We figured this is a major reason why most people become disenchanted with cooking and decided to do something about it. That’s how we thought of the concept,” says Raghav Kohli, co-founder, Cookfresh.

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