Virtual kitchen company Rebel Foods plans to invest $150 million in strategic brand investments and acquisitions in India and globally, the Mumbai-based company said on December 14.
The move is in line with the company’s plans to expand local brands internationally while becoming the most loved food company, Raghav Joshi, Co-founder, Rebel Foods, said.
“Through this initiative, we aim to invest in some of the most loved food brands and help them scale through our extensive network to all parts of the country and even internationally like it's already happening with SLAY, Wendy's, Biryani Blues and others,” Joshi said.
The unicorn, which operates a network of cloud kitchen brands such as Behrouz Biryani, Mandarin Oak, Ovenstory Pizza, and Faasos, is looking to scale up existing and new partnerships with more than 40 Indian and international brands in a Thrasio-like model for food.
The model refers to the US-based Thrasio which buys the hottest up-and-coming brands that sell on Amazon and gives them the marketing, cost-optimisation and technological chops that the company specialises in.
This model has significantly picked up in the Indian startup ecosystem where startups acquire fast-growing online-first brands and build a portfolio of such brands. The parent company usually brings in its technology, marketing and helps these brands scale. The model has gained significant traction in the e-commerce space.
Following this model, Rebel aims to invest, scale and grow food brands, the company said.
Also read: Foodpanda partners with Indian cloud kitchen firm Rebel Foods
The move comes at a time when the space is seeing intense competition. Rival firm BOX8, which operates brands including Mojo Pizza, Globo Ice Cream and Zaza Biryani, raised $40 million from Tiger Global and also rebranded itself to EatClub Brands.
Another firm Curefoods has raised fresh funds to acquire digital food brands across geographies.
Curefoods, which commenced operations in 2020, operates EatFit, Yumlane, Aligarh House Biryani and Masalabox. Recently, it also acquired seven new direct-to-consumer food brands MasalaBox, Paratha Box, Cake Zone, Ammi’s Biryani, Hyderabad-based pizza brands Olio and Crusto’s, and Chaat Street in Bengaluru.
Rebel Foods has built more than 45 brands across 10 countries—India, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Bangladesh—and operates more than 4,000 internet restaurants.
The company plans to expand its presence to 100 cities globally. So far, it has scaled brands like Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, and Oven Story Pizza, Slay, Naturals Ice Cream, Mad Over Donuts and Wendy's across locations in India. The company also recently invested in Biryani Blues and Zomoz.