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Chef Crafted Instant Food Brand Yu raises Rs 20Cr in a follow-on Series A round

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Vivek Vishwakarma
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Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur

Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur

Chef Crafted Instant Food Brand Yu has raised Rs 20 crore in a follow-on Series A funding round following its last fundraise in November 2022.

The round was led by public market investor Ashish Kacholia and Asian Paints Promoter Group (Manish Choksi, Varun Vakil).

Scaling manufacturing capacity

With this round of funding, Yu will focus on scaling up its manufacturing capacity while entering multiple product categories and segments. Yu said it is among the few D2C brands that have penetrated multiple distribution channels, including offline (6,500+ stores), online (E-Com and Q-Com servicing pan India), institutional segments and exports.

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The brand will look to consolidate its presence and set up a nationwide distribution network within the next 12 months, as per the company's statement.

Apart from ramping up its domestic distribution, The startup will solidify its presence in South Africa, where it has built a nationwide presence (2000 stores) in a short span of time.

Re-imagining packaged foods

Founded by Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur, Yu has developed a range of 25 unique instant food products. The startup claims that these products are developed using advanced lyophilization technology, and its range includes instant noodles and pastas that are 100% natural, containing zero preservatives.

The brand has also forayed into the beverage segment with Natural Coconut Water. Its products are available at over 6,500 offline stores, ALL E-Com / Q-Com platforms like Blinkit, Amazon, Flipkart, Zepto, Swiggy Instamart, JioMart in addition to airlines like SpiceJet and Akasa.

Its products are also available in international markets like South Africa, the Middle East, and Australia through offline/online channels.

Witnessing growth

Yu claims to have achieved over 200% growth QoQ on the back of sales of 1.5 million units in Q3-FY24 (Oct-Dec 2023).

Founders Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur jointly, said, “It is extremely motivating to see our existing, highly eminent investors double down on us. Since the last fund raise, Yu has grown exponentially having deepened its penetrated in the Indian market and opened up several export markets like South Africa where Yu now has a nation-wide presence. It is extremely heartening to see a young Make in India brand successfully selling its products in global markets like South Africa, Middle East and Australia."

Apart from Ashish Kacholia and Asian Paints Promoter Group (Manisha Choksi, Varun Vakil), Yu counts Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya, Sameer Mehta (Founder of Boat), Srikrishna Dwaram (Partner, True North Private Equity), Nikhil Srivastava (PAG Private Equity) and DPIITs Start Up India Seed Fund among its investors.

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