Cloud kitchen BOX8, which operates brands like MOJO Pizza, has raised a funding round of $40 million from tech investment giant Tiger Global. The technology first, full-stack cloud kitchen company also rebranded itself to EatClub Brands, the Mumbai-based startup, on December 1, 2021.
The startup is yet to disclose its valuation. It has a total of 8 brands that operates out of more than 150 cloud kitchens. It recently added GLOBO Ice Cream and ZAZA Biryani to its portfolio.
“We have deliberately spent time in building deep capabilities in food, technology and operations. With this additional funding, we now plan to scale geographically to 500+ kitchens in 15 cities rapidly. The company is also planning to onboard talent and build strong teams,” said Amit Raj, Co-Founder, EatClub Brands.
The journey from BOX8 to EatClub Brands
Founded by Raj and Anshul Gupta, both Indian Institute of Technology graduates, in 2012, EatClub Brands started with BOX8, known for its all-in-1 meals and desi box. An early mover in the cloud-kitchen space, BOX8 was among the first direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands to cross the Rs 100- crore revenue mark.
EatClub Brands also operates the brand MOJO Pizza, the largest home-grown pizza delivery brand with a revenue of over Rs 150 crore.
The foodtech startup has more than 150 cloud kitchens across five cities in India — Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, NCR and Hyderabad — delivering over 1.5 million meals every month.
The company operates an entire value chain, from procurement of high-quality ingredients to food preparation to the last-mile delivery, ensuring superior customer experience and business economics.
“EatClub Brands is re-imagining how kitchens can operate through its innovative tech-first, full-stack cloud kitchen model. We are impressed with the company’s ability to achieve scale and customer loyalty, first with BOX8 and then with MOJO Pizza, while achieving impressive unit economics, and we are excited to partner with them as they continue to grow,” said Griffin Schroeder, Partner, Tiger Global.
New-age food delivery gaining traction in India
According to a report by RedSeer Management Consulting, cloud kitchens are set to be a $2 billion industry in India by 2024, up from $400 million in 2019.
According to Fortune India, before Covid-19, there was a distinct divide between delivery-centric focussed and dine-in brands. However, this will not be the case in the future. Now, each restaurant brand will come up with a food delivery focussed brand of their own.
“We have been impressed by their first principles approach to building a new-age food delivery platform. They have built multiple strong brands in a short span of time catering to the evolving Indian consumer. We continue to remain strong believers in Amit and Anshul, and we are excited for the next phase of growth,” said Nikhil Khattau, Managing Partner of Mayfield India, the first institutional investor in BOX8.
Lately, many recognized hospitality brands have started adopting the cloud kitchens model, an entirely delivery-based business.
Anshul Gupta, Co-Founder, EatClub Brands, said, “In the company’s quest to make good food more affordable for all, we plan on acquiring delivery-first food brands that customers love. With the scale and expertise, we have built, we can help these brands with expansion, operations and marketing. They can capitalize on our proprietary technology stack and existing kitchen network as well.”