Haldiram’s munches into Indian startup ecosystem; backs incubator Venture Catalyst

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Updated: April 23, 2019 3:43:57 PM

While the funding amount by Haldiram's hasn't been disclosed but it has already been "strategically allocated to strengthen the team, processes and presence of Venture Catalysts," the incubator said.

Haldiram’s could buy a stake in multiple startups with lead investments.

Legacy sweets and snacks maker Haldiram’s has invested in integrated startup incubator Venture Catalysts to “share the knowledge (it has) acquired over the years and contribute to the burgeoning start-up ecosystem in the country,” Haldiram’s spokesperson for the family business announced today. Investment in Venture Catalysts is the third round raised by the Mumbai-based incubator that is also a seed investor in Indian startups, Founder Dr Apoorv Ranjan Sharma told Financial Express Online.

“We have always strived to focus on identifying market opportunities and make the best use of them through product diversification and listening to the consumer intently. The current generation of Haldiram’s looks forward to this alliance and is very upbeat about encouraging more such collaborations in the future,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

While the funding amount hasn’t been disclosed but it has already been “strategically allocated to strengthen the team, processes and presence of Venture Catalysts,” the incubator said.

The funding marks one of its kind deals in startup ecosystem where an FMCG giant has backed an incubator to seek access to startups.

“They (Haldiram’s) are verticalising their business. While we see huge support for startups from Haldiram’s in this space (consumer packaged goods — CPG) but it is not limited to that,” Dr Sharma said.

Moreover, Haldiram’s could buy a stake in multiple startups with lead investments even as there could be some acquisitions by the snacks giant.

This is quite a direct benefit that anyway will happen. So some of the startups will automatically benefit from this. While Haldiram’s has not committed anything like this but if it is not so then why would they invest in an incubator. Through us, they are entering into startup space, Dr Sharma added.

Venture Catalysts had raised its first round in 2016 worth $500,000, as per deals tracker Crunchbase. It plans to back 10-15 relevant startups in CPG space in the coming 12-24 months.

Similar two-three tie-ups are currently underway by Venture Catalysts that will be announced in coming months, said Dr Sharma. CPG market is currently estimated at about $50 billion and growing at about 7-10 per cent.

Venture Catalysts has backed startups including Keeros, Chai Break, Fyre etc., in the food and beverage space.

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