Funding Rundown: Spotnana bags $75M in Series-B; Windo, Bundle O Joy, Sudo Foods & Zipteams raise early-stage funding

Travel tech startup Spotnana raises $75 million in Series B Funding

Spotnana, a Travel-as-a-Service provider, raised $75 million in Series B funding led by Durable Capital Partners. Existing investors Madrona Venture Group, Blank Ventures, ICONIQ Growth, and Mubadala Capital participated in the round.

The new funding enables Spotnana to accelerate hiring and drive faster adoption of its Travel-as-a-Service Platform, which provides a single cloud-based technology stack to corporations, travel management companies, suppliers, and technology providers, the company said in a statement.

Founded by two Indian entrepreneurs — Sarosh Waghmar and Shikhar Agarwal — Spotnana seeks to provide an open platform that enables the entire travel ecosystem, lowering operating costs, accelerating innovation and improving travel experiences.

Web3 startup Artfi raises $3.26 million at a $100 million valuation

Artfi, a Web3 fine art fintech startup, raised $3.26 million at a valuation of $100 million in a funding round led by Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi (member of the ruling family of Sharjah), Raza Beig (Director, Landmark Group, UAE) and several angel investors.

Founded by Asif Kamal, Artfi is building an NFT platform for purchasing and selling fractionalized pieces of artworks by Picasso, VS Gaitonde, MF Husain, Sacha Jafri and Banksy among others. Rather than selling one painting to one individual, Artfi seeks to use a blockchain network such as Polygon to fractionalize an artwork into 5,000 to 10,000 pieces.

People can now invest in fine art with a very nominal investment and can liquidate it whenever they need to by using the secondary marketplace, the company said in a statement.

Crypto investing platform Crypso raises $3 million in seed funding

Crypso, a community-led investing platform for cryptocurrencies, raised $ 3 million in seed funding from Hashed Emergent, Athera Venture Partners (formerly Inventus), Better Capital, Whiteboard Capital, Polygon’s Sandeep Nailwal and Jaynti Kanani, CRED’s Kunal Shah of CRED and other angel investors.

Founded by Truebil.com founders — Suraj Kalwani, Ravi Chirania and Rakesh Raman — Crypso enables crypto users to learn and discover the latest crypto trends and invest via one-click trade signals in various altcoins generated by crypto experts.

The platform claims to have over 50,000 actively engaged users and more than 100 crypto influencers, creators and experts, who are using the app for daily crypto trends with more than 25 percent of the userbase trading via social signals.

Social commerce startup Windo raises $1.5 million in Pre-Series A round

Bengaluru-based social commerce platform Windo raises $1.5 million in Pre-Series A funding round led by Unicorn India Ventures. The round also saw participation from CapriGlobal, Aravind Sanka (CEO, Rapido), K Ganesh (Co-founder, Portea) and others.

Founded in 2020 by Rakesh Vaddadi and Silus Reddy, Windo aims to help solopreneurs, influencers, small and mid-sized businesses set up online stores. The Windo Shop app seeks to help increase orders and market products with ease to customers on Instagram.

The Windo Shop app can understand more than 100 languages, enabling users to create an online store in a language of their choice. It has 50,000 monthly active users, spanning across more than 140 countries. Currently, it hosts more than 100,000 online shops. Windo is now targeting an ARR of $1 million in the next 12 months.

Bundle O Joy raises Rs 3.9 crore in pre-seed funding led by CIIE.CO

Bangalore-based online shopping platform for children, Bundle O Joy raised Rs 3.9 crore in pre-seed funding round led by CIIE.CO. The round also saw participation from Dexter Angels, Kunal Shah (Cred), Sujeet Kumar (Udaan), Revant Bhate (Mosaic Wellness), Shivani Poddar (Fab Alley), Anil Goteti (Protonn) among others.

Founded in February 2022 by Akriti Gupta, Bundle O Joy is a children’s shopping platform that makes discovery of the right products or brands easier for new-age parents. Currently, it operates in apparels, footwear, toys, books and accessories.

The company plans to use the fresh funds in enhancing technology offerings, streamlining supply chain, adding more categories addition and acquiring talent.

Plant-based meat maker Sudo Foods bags seed funding from Java Capital

Bengaluru-based Sudo Foods raised seed funding from Java Capital, Betaplus Capital and prominent angel investors such as Ravi Saxena (MD, Wonderchef), Deep Bajaj (Co-Founder & CEO, Sirona Hygiene) and Ajay Garg (Founder & MD, Equirus Capital) among others.

The fundraising news comes on the heels of Sudo Food’s launch a few weeks ago, when the startup emerged from stealth mode and started retailing its plant-based chicken and mutton dishes on its website, Big Basket and other online platforms.

Founded by Abhinav Chawla and Sadhika Agarwal, the foodtech startup currently offers plant-based chicken samosas, chicken seekh kebabs, chicken popcorn, and mutton galouti kebabs. The fifth product is expected to be launched soon.

Zipteams raises $700,000 in seed funding led by IndiaQuotient

Zipteams, a conversational intelligence platform for inside sales and customer support teams, raised $700,000 in seed funding round led by IndiaQuotient with participation from angel investors.

Founded by Akash Chatterjee and Siddhartha Srivastava, Zipteams offers intelligent meeting rooms that are powered with automatic identification of next steps for sales follow-up routines, self-guided nudges for sales teams to onboard and get trained faster on the job, and a complete repository of customer meetings to keep all their context in one place.

With fresh capital, the company seeks to strengthen its engineering and machine learning teams to enhance product offerings and achieve user growth in India and the US markets within the next 12-15 months.

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More early-stage funding in ecosystem: Windo, Sudo Foods, Propsoch raise money

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform Windo, on Tuesday said it has raised $1.5 million (around Rs 11.7 crore) in pre-Series A funding round, led by Unicorn India Ventures.

The round also saw participation from a clutch of prominent angel investors and family offices including Capri Global, Aravind Sanka (chief executive and co-founder at Rapido) and K Ganesh (co-founder of Portea), among others.

Founded in 2020 by Rakesh Vaddadi and Silus Reddy, Windo aims to help small businesses and solopreneurs build their online store in under minutes by converting their Instagram page into an online store.

The Bengaluru-based startup, operated by Rare Bits Technology Pvt. Ltd, will use the fresh capital for product development and expanding its overseas footprint.

“The SaaS space is large enough that multiple profitable apps can sustain and we approach the problem differently than our peers as we are keeping it affordable and flexible,” said Silus Reddy, co-founder and CEO, Windo.

“We’ve seen a huge wave of small and midsize D2C brands take to social media platforms to establish their businesses. With the expansion, there is a rapidly growing need for platforms that can support social commerce entrepreneurs,” said Sparsh Kumar, Senior Investment Associate, Unicorn India Ventures.

Founded in 2015, Unicorn India launched its Rs 300 crore ‘Fund II’ in 2019 which has invested in 20 companies so far. From its first fund, the venture capital company invested in 18 companies including Sequretek, Pharmarack, Genrobotics, NeuroEquilibrium, SmartCoin and Open Bank.

Sudo Foods

Plantly Delight Pvt. Ltd, which runs direct-to-consumer (D2C) plant-based meat brand Sudo Foods, on Tuesday said it has raised an undisclosed seed funding from Java Capital and Betaplus Capital.

The round also saw participation from angel investors including Ravi Saxena (Wonderchef), Deep Bajaj (Sirona Hygiene) and Ajay Garg (Equirus Capital), among others.

Launched earlier this year, the startup will deploy the fresh proceeds to expand its team across food technology, food production, safety, compliance and culinary applications.

Founded by Abhinav Chawla and Sadhika Agarwal, Sudoku Foods claims its chicken-based food items are are 100% plant-based.

“With this fundraise, we intend to invest heavily in marketing and R&D, as well as expanding the team and distribution network,” co-founder Chawla said.

“Plant-based meat is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, mostly fuelled by ‘flexitarians’ taking to meat alternatives in addition to meat. Sudo Foods have doubled down on taste and nutrition and their products are centered around the Indian consumer,” said Bhargavi V, founding partner at Java Capital.

Java Capital is a venture capital firm run by career venture capitalists and startup ecosystem enablers with over 15 years of experience. Its primary focus areas include sectors such as fintech, health tech, software as a service (SaaS), mobile internet, and deep technology.

Propsoch  

Thinkr Proptech Pvt. Ltd, which operates proptech startup Propsoch, on Tuesday said it has secured undisclosed angel funding from Godrej Properties’ chief and Bhaskar Bhat, former managing director at Titan Company.

The Bengaluru-based firm plans to use the fresh funding for brand building, key hires and scaling up technology.

Incorporated in March this year by Ashish Acharya, Propsoch is a tech-enabled platform which provides homebuyers detailed insights based on data analytics and in-house expertise.

“We are currently tracking close to 1.5 lakh homes in Bengaluru on 200+ data points related to the location, accessibility, design, pricing, legal and approval. Mohit, Bhaskar and other investors will help Propsoch deliver on its mission and gain a significant Market share in the $1 billion transaction advisory business. Our vision is to be the default home buying platform in India,” said Acharya.

“Real estate is both a financial and emotional decision in India. Unfortunately, homebuyers have never had access to the right insights which could help them make truly smart decisions. Ashish and his team at Propsoch aim to bring much needed information, insight and transparency into an otherwise asymmetric market,” Bhaskar Bhat said in a statement.

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Bundle O Joy, Crypso, Windo, Zipteams, and others raise early stage round

Online shopping platform Bundle O Joy raises Rs 3.9 Cr in a pre-seed round led by CIIE.CO 

Bengaluru-based online shopping platform for children, Bundle O Joy, has announced that it has raised Rs 3.9 crore in pre-seed funding round led by CIIE.CO. The round also saw participation from Dexter Angels, Kunal Shah (Cred), Sujeet Kumar (Udaan), Revant Bhate (Mosaic Wellness), Shivani Poddar (Faballey), Anil Goteti (Protonn), among others.

The company plans to use the fresh funds in enhancing its technology offerings, streamlining its supply chain, category addition, as well as talent acquisition.

Founded in February 2022 by Akriti Gupta, Bundle O Joy is a children’s shopping platform that evolves as the child grows and makes discovery of the right products/brands easier for new age parents. They currently operate in apparels, footwear, toys, books and accessories.

Community-led crypto investing platform Crypso raises $3M in seed round

Community-led investing platform for cryptocurrencies, Crypso, has raised $3 million in seed round from Hashed Emergent, Athera Venture Partners (formerly Inventus), Better Capital, Whiteboard Capital, Polygon founders Sandeep and Jaynti, Kunal Shah of CRED, and other prominent angel investors.

The company will use the fresh round of funding to grow its user base and increase the breadth of product offerings and technology.

Founded in 2022 by Truebil founders Suraj Kalwani, Ravi Chirania, and Rakesh Raman, Crypso enables crypto users to learn and discover the latest crypto trends, and invest via one-click trade signals on various altcoins generated by crypto experts.

Social commerce focused startup Windo raises $1.5M in Pre-Series A round

Bengaluru-based social commerce focused technology platform for individual and small-sized sellers, WINDO, has raised $1.5 million in Pre-Series A round led by Unicorn India Ventures. The round also saw participation from prominent angels like CapriGlobal, Aravind Sanka, CEO, Rapido, K Ganesh, Co-founder Portea and a few others. The company plans to use the funds to focus on product development and also expand in a few countries apart from India.

Founded in 2020 by second time entrepreneurs Rakesh Vaddadi and Silus Reddy, Windo helps solopreneurs, influencers, small and mid-size businesses set up their online stores in minutes. After it raised a seed round last year, Windo aims to create a truly global SaaS app that aids businesses worldwide. To that effect, a team of developers at the company have been working on enhancing their on-app experience.

The Windo Shop app can now understand more than 100 languages, enabling users to create their online store in a language of their choice.

Zipteams raises $700K in seed round led by IndiaQuotient

Zipteams, a conversational intelligence platform for inside sales and customer success teams, has raised $700K in its seed round led by IndiaQuotient and a group of angel investors. Zipteams uses AI to make customer conversations more contextual, engaging, and fruitful by enabling sales teams to bring the right data points to their customers at the moment of need.

The funding will enable Zipteams to invest further in its unique concept of intelligent digital salesrooms that have the capability to harness data and bring real-time customer insights to inside sales and customer success teams in virtual meetings. The company will look to strengthen the engineering and machine learning teams to enhance product offerings and seeks to achieve significant user growth in India and the US markets within the next 12-15 months. IndiaQuotient’s experience with a vast network of successful product companies will aid Zipteams in taking strategic go-to-market decisions to achieve an exponential product-led growth journey.

Plant-based meat brand Sudo Foods raises seed funding from Java Capital and others

Homegrown Bengaluru brand Sudo Foods has raised seed funding from Java Capital, Betaplus Capital, and prominent angel investors such as Ravi Saxena (MD, Wonderchef), Deep Bajaj (Co-Founder & CEO, Sirona Hygiene), and Ajay Garg (Founder & MD, Equirus Capital), along with others.

The fundraising news comes on the heels of Sudo Food’s launch a few weeks ago, where the startup announced that after a year of operating in stealth mode, its plant-based chicken and mutton dishes were now retailing on the website and on popular online platforms like Bigbasket.

Sudo Foods’ ‘kind’ meat alternatives aim to ‘unjunk’ packaged food and offer India’s vast non-vegetarian population delicious, nutritious, sustainable snacking options.

Its plant-based chicken samosas, chicken seekh kebabs, chicken popcorn, and mutton galouti kebabs use ethical ingredients which are all 100% plant-based.

Nora Fatehi becomes brand ambassador of CakeZone; invests in parent company Curefoods

CakeZone has announced Nora Fatehi as its brand ambassador. Nora Fatehi has also turned an investor in the parent company Curefoods with this association. This investment has inked a long-term association, with a national brand campaign to be launched this year. Curefoods is a cloud kitchen company which houses brands like CakeZone, EatFit, Frozen Bottle, and Great Indian Khichdi.

CakeZone offers a range of cakes and pastries to its users, which is followed by a 100% hygiene and care protocol and no artificial ingredients, making desserts fun and a reliable eating option.

Software development analytics platform Insightly AI raises $1M seed round led by Together Fund

Insightly Analytics, a software development analytics platform, has raised $1 million in seed round led by Together Fund as it seeks to help engineering leaders build better teams and ship software faster.

Started in 2022, Insightly is used by CTOs and Engineering VPs, who collectively lead over 12,000 engineers across four continents with teams in the US, India, Kenya, and Israel. These teams use Insightly to gain org-level visibility into critical metrics like DORA and more that can help them augment gut decisions with data.

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Shaka Harry, best performing plant-based meat brand raises seed funding of US$ 2 Million led by Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon and Panthera Peak

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], July 19 (ANI/Hunk Golden and Media): Liberate Foods Pvt Ltd, a plant protein company with a meat alternate line, Shaka Harry has received a total investment of US$ 2 M in a seed funding round led by Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon and venture debt fund – Panthera Peak. Other investors include; Dexler Holdings, Chef Manu Chandra and a group of domestic family offices and angel investors.

Liberate Foods is founded by proven founders with prior experience and success in scaling businesses in India and globally. The co-founders include Anand Nagarajan, Sandeep Devgan, Hemalatha Srinivasan, Ruth Renita and Anoop Haridasan. The cofounders and leadership team consist of specialist, functional leaders with extensive experience in the food sector. Shaka Harry, one of the fastest growing plant-based meat brands offers a range of meal and snack products which are designed around Indian cuisine and palate. The range includes; snackables and meal accompaniments. The product has a distinct advantage with access to proprietary taste and flavour solutions coupled with the brand’s partnership with Chef Manu Chandra, one of India’s top chefs.

Anand Nagarajan, Co-founder, Shaka Harry said, “It is the most exciting time to launch a consumer brand on the smarter protein platform. We are already the best performing brand in the online stores where we have presence. Our products are doing significantly better than competition on taste and customer response. When we think about sustainability, we usually think about energy and transportation. Food is an area that can move the sustainability needle much more. Winning a consumer segment in the food space needs a well designed product range, deep expertise in taste and flavour and consistent customer experience. The team at Shaka Harry, with in-house flavour and taste solutions coupled with an experienced team is poised to build the market leading brand in plant-based products.”

Sandeep Devgan, Co-founder, Shaka Harry commented, “Plant-based meats have a huge scope of acceptability in India, particularly among the growing flexitarian population. Yet not many brands have been able to make a mark due to the inability to replicate real meaty tastes in vegetarian profiles. That’s where Shaka Harry has been able to make a difference. By partnering with top flavourists, who are masters in recreating impactful meaty top notes using vegetarian ingredients, we have been able to offer Indian consumers a first-of its-kind ‘just-like-chicken’ and ‘just-like mutton experience’ minus the guilt.”

The company has a monthly customer base of 25,000. The monthly growth expected for the next few quarters is around 20 to 30 per cent. Shaka Harry aims at aggressive growth over the next 5 years. Shaka Harry range of products are available across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Gurgaon.

Simon Newstead, Founding Partner, Better Bite Ventures said, “As an Asian alt protein fund, Better Bite Ventures invests in early-stage startups creating a more sustainable food system in the most populous region in the world. And as such, we’re particularly optimistic about India’s opportunity. The nation has a clear opportunity to become a regional leader in plant-based foods and leapfrog other countries in adopting climate-friendly smart proteins, driven by a growing movement of conscious consumers motivated by taste, health and the environment. Which leads us to our investment in Shaka Harry, who brings a range of crave-worthy, locally resonant plant-based products to market. We’ve been impressed by both the team, technology and traction with consumers and channels alike. Anand’s vision to have products to enjoy from morning till night, from snacking to main meals, and for everyone resonates strongly. We’re excited to support the team for long term success in this important market.”

Bjoern Witte, CEO, Blue Horizon said, “We are very excited about our first investment in India. Shaka Harry is one of the first mover in a new sector offering a wide product range tailored to the Indian cuisine. This will work well not only in India but also internationally. In a very recent study, a large consumer survey conducted by Blue Horizon and BCG, we found that taste, nutritional value and health aspects rank highest when considering to increase the consumption of alternative proteins. Shaka Harry addresses all these points and we look very much forward to working together with this highly focused and impact-driven team.”

Nikhil Bhandarkar, Founding Partner and CEO, Panthera Peak Ventures highlighted, “We invest in early stage startups led by visionary entrepreneurs. This is one of the main reasons we have backed Shaka Harry as the founding and leadership team bring in lot of experience and expertise of the sector. The growth of plant-based meat sector in India, coupled with the Direct-to Consumer boom underscore a massive potential for the Shaka Harry range of products. Further, their vision of becoming a plant based meat platform beyond just a product company opens doors for significant market expansion.”

Experts at non-profit Good Food Institute India work closely with Liberate Foods and across the industry for advancement across science, business, and policy. Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, Good Food Institute India, said “With leading companies like Shaka Harry bringing plant-based meats to consumers across India, the last year has been smart protein’s breakout moment in the country. But funding in Indian smart protein companies continues to lag far behind, remaining at a tiny fraction of the $11b invested globally over the last decade. Respected investors like Blue Horizon, Better Bite Ventures, Panthera Peak Ventures and Manu Chandra bring deep credibility and expertise through their food and startup investing track record. Shaka Harry’s fundraise is a further mark of the growing momentum in the Indian smart protein sector, as we enter a new phase of growth and centre India in the global landscape – all in service of protecting public and planetary health and improving food security.”

Chef Manu Chandra stated, “If I could convert from a skeptic to a believer in plant-based futures, I’m sure, so could a lot of you. We’ve come such a long way from the once dreaded rubbery substitutes with dubious processes – to clean labelled and delicious alternatives. Intervening as a chef to take the Shaka Harry product ranges to the next level of taste and texture has been an enriching experience, in realising how far this category can be pushed. The future is plant-based, start now.”

India is becoming an increasingly lucrative market for plant-based meat startups, with a large population of non-vegetarians looking to cut down their meat consumption due to a combination of concerns like sustainability and health. Contrary to popular opinion, 77 per cent of Indians self-identify as non vegetarians as per the latest National Family Health Survey – NFHS 5. The Indian market is ripe for transformation, with consumers looking towards plant-based alternatives for a simple switch, without giving up the delicious appeal of meat. Research from expert nonprofit Good Food Institute India found that 63 per cent of Indian consumers are very extremely likely to purchase plant-based meat in a cross-country consumer acceptance study. This response from consumers most of whom are currently ‘early adopters’ of plant-based meat compared favourably with the U.S. and China.

Shaka Harry has a large assortment of plant-based “Ready to Eat” foods range for customers looking to substitute/ supplement their meat intake with plant based foods. The goal is to offer Shaka Harry as a healthy and tasty meat alternative and to deliver Shaka Harry products to every Indian household to begin a trial.

Shaka Harry is a brand that is here to disrupt the food market with its delicious and innovative plant-based meat products that not only taste just like meat but are also better – both for yours and the planet’s health. Plant-based food has proven to be a rich source of protein and other nutrients essential for humans, with its recipe being all natural and the vegan plant-based category is a healthy choice for people and the planet. Get zero trans-fat and cholesterol-free products.

For more information, visit www.shakaharry.com

Better Bite Ventures is Asia Pacific’s first alternative protein regional fund, backing early-stage founders transforming the world’s largest food market for the better. The $US 15 Million fund has invested to date in 10 high-potential Asia Pacific startups, harnessing plant-based and cellular agriculture technologies to create climate-friendly meat, dairy, egg and seafood alternatives that are better for people, animals and planet. Better Bite Ventures was created by two operators turned impact investors, Michal Klar and Simon Newstead. With a combined 20 years as plant-based, sector expertise including running the Future Food Now newsletter and Vegan Startup podcast, and a track record of investing and venture building in food and tech, both are keen to help power new wave of startups.

https://www.betterbite.vc/

Blue Horizon is accelerating the transition to a Sustainable Food System that delivers outstanding returns for investors and the planet. The company is a global pioneer of the Future of Food. As a pure play impact investor, Blue Horizon has shaped the growth of the alternative protein and food tech market. The company invests at the intersection of biology, agriculture and technology with the aim to transform the global food industry. Blue Horizon was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerld. To date, the company has invested in more than 70 companies. Its business model offers an attractive opportunity to invest in the evolution of the global food system while contributing to a healthy and sustainable world. www.bluehorizon.com

This story is provided by Hunk Golden and Media. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/Hunk Golden and Media)

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Shaka Harry, best performing plant-based meat brand raises seed funding of US$ 2 Million led by Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon and Panthera Peak

Shaka Harry aims at aggressive growth over the next 5 years

Bengaluru…July 19, 2022…Liberate Foods Pvt. Ltd., a plant protein company with a meat alternate line, Shaka Harry has received a total investment of US$ 2 M  in  seed funding round led by Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon and venture debt fund – Panthera Peak. Other investors include; Dexler Holdings, Chef Manu Chandra and a group of domestic family offices and angel investors.

Liberate Foods is founded by proven founders with prior experience and success in scaling businesses in India and globally. The co-founders include Anand Nagarajan, Sandeep Devgan, Hemalatha Srinivasan, Ruth Renita and Anoop Haridasan. The cofounders and leadership team consists of specialist, functional leaders with extensive experience in the food sector. Shaka Harry, one of the fastest growing plant-based meat brand offers a range of meal and snacking products which are designed around the Indian cuisine and palate. The range includes; snackables and meal accompaniments. The product has a distinct advantage with access to proprietary taste and flavour solutions coupled with the brand’s partnership with Chef Manu Chandra, one of India’s top chefs.

Anand Nagarajan, Co-founder, Shaka Harry said, “It is the most exciting time to launch a consumer brand on the smarter protein platform. We are already the best performing brand in the online stores where we have presence. Our products are doing significantly better than competition on taste and customer response. When we think about sustainability, we usually think about energy and transportation. Food is an area that can move the sustainability needle much more. Winning a consumer segment in the food space needs a well-designed product range, deep expertise in taste and flavour and consistent customer experience. The team at Shaka Harry, with in-house flavour and taste solutions coupled with an experienced team is poised to build the market leading brand in plant-based products.”

Sandeep Devgan, Co-founder, Shaka Harry commented, “Plant-based meats have a huge scope of acceptability in India, particularly among the growing flexitarian population. Yet not many brands have been able to make a mark due to the inability to replicate real meaty tastes in vegetarian profiles. That’s where Shaka Harry has been able to make a difference. By partnering with top flavourists, who are masters in recreating impactful meaty top notes using vegetarian ingredients, we have been able to offer Indian consumers a first-of-its-kind ‘just-like-chicken’ & ‘just-like mutton experience’ minus the guilt.”

The company has a monthly customer base of 25,000. The monthly growth expected  for the next few quarters is around 20 to 30%. Shaka Harry aims at aggressive growth over the next 5 years. Shaka Harry range of products are available across Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Gurgaon.

Simon Newstead, Founding Partner, Better Bite Ventures said, “As an Asian alt-protein fund, Better Bite Ventures invests in early-stage startups creating a more sustainable food system in the most populous region in the world. And as such, we’re particularly optimistic about India’s opportunity. The nation has a clear opportunity to become a regional leader in plant-based foods and leapfrog other countries in adopting climate-friendly smart proteins, driven by a growing movement of conscious consumers motivated by taste, health and the environment. Which leads us to our investment in Shaka Harry, who brings a range of crave-worthy, locally resonant plant-based products to market.  We’ve been impressed by both the team, technology and traction with consumers and channels alike. Anand’s vision to have products to enjoy from morning till night, from snacking to main meals, and for everyone resonates strongly. We’re excited to support the team for long term success in this important market.”

Bjoern Witte, CEO, Blue Horizon said, “We are very excited about our first investment in India. Shaka Harry is one of the first mover in a new sector offering a wide product range tailored to the Indian cuisine. This will work well not only in India but also internationally. In a very recent study, a large consumer survey conducted by Blue Horizon and BCG, we found that taste, nutritional value and health aspects rank highest when considering to increase the consumption of alternative proteins. Shaka Harry addresses all these points and we look very much forward to working together with this highly focused and impact-driven team.”

 Nikhil Bhandarkar, Founding Partner & CEO, Panthera Peak Ventures highlighted, “We invest in early stage startups led by visionary entrepreneurs. This is one of the main reasons we have backed Shaka Harry as the founding and leadership team bring in lot of experience and expertise of the sector. The growth of plant-based meat sector in India, coupled with the Direct-to-Consumer boom underscore a massive potential for the Shaka Harry range of products. Further, their vision of becoming a plant based meat platform beyond just a product company opens doors for significant market expansion.”

Experts at non-profit Good Food Institute India work closely with Liberate Foods and across the industry for advancement across science, business, and policy. Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, Good Food Institute India, said “With leading companies like Shaka Harry bringing plant-based meats to consumers across India, the last year has been smart protein’s breakout moment in the country. But funding in Indian smart protein companies continues to lag far behind, remaining at a tiny fraction of the $11b invested globally over the last decade. Respected investors like Blue Horizon, Better Bite Ventures, Panthera Peak Ventures and Manu Chandra bring deep credibility and expertise through their food and startup investing track record. Shaka Harry’s fundraise is a further mark of the growing momentum in the Indian smart protein sector, as we enter a new phase of growth and centre India in the global landscape – all in service of protecting public and planetary health and improving food security.”

Chef Manu Chandra stated, “If I could convert from a skeptic to a believer in plant based futures, I’m sure, so could a lot of you. We’ve come such a long way from the once dreaded rubbery substitutes with dubious processes – to clean labelled and delicious alternatives. Intervening as a chef to take the Shaka Harry product ranges to the next level of taste and texture has been an enriching experience, in realising how far this category can be pushed. The future is plant based, start now.”

India is becoming an increasingly lucrative market for plant-based meat startups, with a large population of non-vegetarians looking to cut down their meat consumption due to a combination of concerns like sustainability and health. Contrary to popular opinion, 77% of Indians self-identify as non-vegetarians as per the latest National Family Health Survey – NFHS 5. The Indian market is ripe for transformation, with consumers looking towards plant-based alternatives for a simple switch, without giving up the delicious appeal of meat. Research from expert nonprofit Good Food Institute India found that 63% of Indian consumers are very or extremely likely to purchase plant-based meat in a cross-country consumer acceptance study. This response from consumers – most of whom are currently ‘early adopters’ of plant-based meat – compared favourably with the U.S. and China.

Shaka Harry has a large assortment of plant based “Ready to Eat” foods range for customers looking to substitute/ supplement their meat intake with plant-based foods. The goal is to offer Shaka Harry as a healthy and tasty meat alternative and to deliver Shaka Harry products to every Indian household to begin a trial.

About Shaka Harry

Shaka Harry is a brand that is here to disrupt the food market with its delicious & innovative plant-based-meat products that not only taste just like meat but are also better – both for yours and the planet’s health. Plant based food has proven to be a rich source of protein and other nutrients essential for humans, with its recipe being all natural and the vegan plant-based category is a healthy choice for people and the planet. Get zero trans-fat and cholesterol-free products.

For more information, visit www.shakaharry.com

About Better Bite Ventures:

Better Bite Ventures is Asia Pacific’s first alternative protein regional fund, backing early-stage founders transforming the world’s largest food market for the better. The $US 15 Million fund has invested to date in 10 high-potential Asia Pacific startups, harnessing plant-based and cellular agriculture technologies to create climate-friendly meat, dairy, egg and seafood alternatives that are better for people, animals and planet. Better Bite Ventures was created by two operators turned impact investors, Michal Klar and Simon Newstead. With a combined 20 years as plant-based, sector expertise including running the Future Food Now newsletter and Vegan Startup podcast, and a track record of investing and venture building in food and tech, both are keen to help power a new wave of startups.

https://www.betterbite.vc/

 About Blue Horizon:

Blue Horizon is accelerating the transition to a Sustainable Food System that delivers outstanding returns for investors and the planet. The company is a global pioneer of the Future of Food. As a pure play impact investor, Blue Horizon has shaped the growth of the alternative protein and food tech market. The company invests at the intersection of biology, agriculture and technology with the aim to transform the global food industry. Blue Horizon was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. To date, the company has invested in more than 70 companies. Its business model offers an attractive opportunity to invest in the evolution of the global food system while contributing to a healthy and sustainable world. www.bluehorizon.com

For further media queries, please contact:

Sonia Kulkarni | Hunk Golden and Media
9820184099 | sonia.kulkarni@hunkgolden.in

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Paridhi Jain announces the release of ‘The Unlikely Friendship: a book About Down Syndrome”

Mumbai, 18, May, 2022…For the purpose of creating a children’s book which is focused on Down syndrome, and therefore raise awareness about it, while sensitizing it for the future generation, making sure they would know how to treat people with the same. Paridhi Jain is all set to launch the book; An Unlikely Friendship: A book about down Syndrome. The book has been illustrated and conceptualized by Anaya Jain, On 24th of May 2022.

The book launch will be held on 24th of May, 2022, at Title Waves, Bandra West Mumbai. The book launch event is to start from 4;00 PM onwards.  The book will be launched by Tara Sharma Saluja, present at the launch.   From there Chetan Jain, will hold the stage to provide a brief introduction about the book.  This will be followed by a fireside chat between Tara Sharma Saluja and Anaya Jain. After the fireside chat, there will be unveiling of book along with a photo session. To be followed by a press interaction to provide a better insight to media. Thereafter concluding the event with a vote of thanks and book signing session.

About Anaya Jain

Anaya Jain is a 15-year-old from Mumbai, India. She is currently in the tenth grade, studying in Oberoi International School. A child prodigy with a great level of emotional intelligence.

Growing up, art has always been a huge passion of hers. She has always believed in looking at things with a kinder perspective. She is glad to have been able to express that through this book: The Unlikely Friendship: A book about down syndrome, while bringing light to such an important topic of Down Syndrome.

The Book: “The Unlikely Friendship”, is conceptualized and illustrated by Anaya Jain. Giving the book an essence of utter innocence and child’s point of view. Which will enable the readers to connect better with the book.

About the Author

Smriti Rathi is the author of the children’s picture book, ‘The Dream Seller.” After completing her master’s degree in marketing from the London School of Economics, she founded The Book Baker, an organization that helps children write and design their own storybooks. She is very passionate about sharing her love for reading and children’s literature with the world.

For further media queries, please contact:

Sonia Kulkarni | Hunk Golden and Media

9820184099 | sonia.kulkarni@hunkgolden.in

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Be Smart, Trost it – No Smoking Day campaign launched to promote healthy substitutes and smoke therapy for smokers

Delhi…March 9, 2022… The Trost, a lifestyle and wellness start-up, offering India’s first prescription based herbal and healthy hemp and cannabis based cigarettes, has launched #trost it,trust it, No Smoking Day campaign to promote healthy substitutes and smoke therapy for smokers. International No Smoking Day is held every second Wednesday of March and is being observed on March 9, 2022. THE THEME THIS YEAR IS “QUITTING SMOKING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE STRESSFUL” and hence The Trost campaign targeted at the millennials conveys the message strongly with #Trustit, not a taboo.

Understanding the deep-rooted issue of smoking and nicotine addiction, The Trost’s endeavor of replacing a health injurious habit with health enduring habit is revolutionary. Bringing the idea to reality, The Trost is promoting healthy hemp cigarettes which comes up with total herbal essence. These healthy rolled smoke sticks are the first of their kind in the Indian market for medical use and are India’s first smokable stick with cannabis leaf extract and are available in two variants; The Woody Rollen and The Earthy Rollen. Recently, matching up with the market demands, Trost has launched new packaging of 10 boxes of 50 rollens at a special price of Rs. 3400, making healthy smoke substitute more economical as well.

Harshal Goel, Managing Director, The Trost said, “We cannot eradicate a deep-down addiction with some statutory warnings. There has to be a better, healthy and consistent solution for the same. Habituated smokers need something to replace their smoke craving. Moreover, smoking is also a social activity. In today’s date a lot of youngsters and especially millennials are getting more concerned about their health. It is true that some habits are unavoidable and some experiments attract. Hence The Trost offers pleasure of smoking experienced in a healthy way. The campaign addresses the core issue and promotes the idea that one doesn’t have to give up smoking but just replace it with a healthy alternative. Everyone tells us No Smoking but here we are saying Be Smart, Let’s Trost.”

Harshal further added that “With the Trost, we have tried to blend the ayurveda techniques and bring out vegan-friendly healthy solution for smoking. This natural hemp-based cigarettes will offer additional health benefits while giving the equalised pleasure of smoking. They are sold as prescription based. People in general are mostly aware of the ill effects of tobacco and other addictive materials but very few people are aware of tobacco free hemp cigarettes and their health benefits. The Trost’s hemp cigarettes — priced at Rs 420 for a pack of five sticks — are good replacements for tobacco-based cigarettes and follow the principles of ‘dhuma yoga’, an Ayurvedic formulation that combines five herbs including cannabis. The herbs are burned and the smoke is inhaled by the user through their mouths and noses.”

The No Smoking Day is designed as a time to reach out to friends or family members who suffer from nicotine addiction. Research shows the number of people around the world who still smoke cigarettes — and are not actively trying to quit — is severely dwindling. The stigma surrounding smoking and the dangers of first-hand and second-hand smoke tend to get more severe as time goes on. But on International No Smoking Day, many are encouraged to help others quit.

The Trost manufactures and sells India’s first herbal hemp-based cigarettes. The company provides these cigarettes as medicine-based prescriptions. The Trost utilises power of Ayurveda for providing a healthy option for smokers and non-smokers with its natural hemp-based cigarettes. Along with that The Trost is focused towards creating awareness among people and elevating them to healthier substitute of smoking in the long run. The Trost is the only brand in India with a proprietary Ayurvedic Dhoom Dandinka (Smoke therapy) Licence.

About The Trost

Launched in September 2021 by 24-year-old Harsha Goel, after two years of research and jumping through regulatory hoops, New Delhi-based The Trost has been seeing solid demand for its tobacco-free hemp rollens, as well as its CBD oil. Inspired by the innovation happening around the hemp plant and its use in products such as chocolates, creams, gummies etc, the student at City University, London, decided to launch his own brand in a bid to join in on the conviviality. The first product he launched in Switzerland was medicinal, herbal hemp cigarettes, and they instantly became a hit. Within three months of launching, the young entrepreneur sold out his entire stock, and saw pre-orders starting to come in for the next batch. While CBD oils and hemp-seeds and hearts-based products have been around in India for quite some time, hemp cigarettes are a relatively new concept.

The Trost is committed to bring to their customers the benefits of full-spectrum, high quality hemp extracts, using advanced extractions methods which is inspired by Swiss technology. The ethically sourced, sun grown hemp is refined using the finest state of art technology and handles with utmost care. The Trost makes exclusive products with add on qualities like: vegan-friendly, dairy free, non-GMO, Organic and cruelty free. Trost is committed towards catering to one’s special dietary needs, relieving pain and elevating the energy levels.

There are various organic, vegan-friendly and natural products being offered by The Trost. Brand Trost is available in three categories – hemp nutrition; cannabis leaf extract (CBD); and India’s first cannabis smokable sticks, Trost Rollens based on the Dhoom Dandika.

#Trost it,trust it

#Notataboo

For further information on The Trost: www.thetrost.com

For media queries:

Sonia Kulkarni | Hunk Golden and Media

9820184099 | sonia.kulkarni@hunkgolden.in

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Gera Pune Residential Realty Report for the period of January 2022 to June 2022

Historically Highest ever launch of new homes in Pune residential realty market at 1,15,996 – a surge of 80%

Highest ever sales for the year at 1,05,625 homes, an increase of 24%

Average rates per sf up to Rs. 5,208 per sqft, an increase of 8.11%
Inventory available for sale drops 30% below peak of 1,07,402 apartments seen in Jun ’16

Pune, July 06, 2022: The residential real estate segment gained significant momentum in the first half of 2022. In a bid to meet the supply deficit in Pune’s residential realty market triggered by stalling of projects due to Covid-19 pandemic, developers continued the trend of an increased number of new homes being brought to the market as per the Gera realty Report.

For the half year ending Jun’21, a total of 26,611 units were brought to the market.  This has risen by 106% to 54,845 homes being brought to market in the first half of 2022. For the 12 months from July 2020 – July 2021, a total of 64,671 homes were brought to the market. This increased by 80% to 1,15,996 homes brought to the market between July 2021-June 2022 and is the highest number of homes launched over a 12-month period into the Pune market.

On the other hand, the inventory available for sale is 74,818 apartments, 30% below the peak of 1,07,402 apartments seen in Jun ’16. Gera Developments has classified projects into 4 stages based on construction status i.e., Early, Mid, End and Ready. Early-stage inventory constitutes ~27% of all available units for sale as on Jun ’22.  The early-stage inventory was at 19.12% a year ago, however, this has increased on account of the number of new projects and new inventory launched in the last year.

Gera Developments – the pioneers of real estate business and the award-winning creators of premium residential and commercial projects in Pune, Goa and Bengaluru, on Wednesday, released the July 2022 edition of their bi-annual report, titled ‘The Gera Pune Residential Realty Report’. The report is an outcome of the longest-running, census-based study of the residential realty market of Pune. It is based on primary and proprietary research conducted by Gera Developments and covers all existing projects in a 30-km radius of the city centre.

Overall, the residential real estate market in Pune is in an upcycle and gathering momentum sequentially. Looking at the yearly data of new launches by price segments, the average prices of homes across the city have increased by 8.11% in the last 12 months. There is a rise in prices across the board especially in the new projects where prices have gone up by ~ 24% in the last 12 months. 70 projects have been launched in the Luxury segment (Average price ~Rs 10,000+ Psf) which has contributed to the significant rise in the average prices across the city.

Explaining the overall trend in the market, Mr. Rohit Gera, Managing Director, Gera Developments, said, “After years of prices falling, we have now seen home prices continue to rise for the last 2 years.  This is a good sign as affordability continues to be near all-time highs as well. Sales and new project launches are at all-time highs.  The last 12 months saw more than 1.15 lakh homes being brought to market and over 1.05 lakh homes being sold.  Both numbers are all time high records.  The luxury segment too, saw an increase in sales and new launches – in fact to compensate for the years of being in the doldrums.

While on one hand, we saw positive sentiment translating to robust sales and positive price movement after years of shocks created by man and God, we are now faced with a war, supply chain disruption, inflation, global challenges, a stock market rout, rising interest rates. In addition to this, we also have the Government to thank for a massive increase in the FSI leading to a potential over supply. The acronym VUCA is extremely applicable to the Pune Real Estate market.  VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. And in our view, cautious optimism is the way to go in this VUCA world”

The report also suggests affordability levels have seen a slight reduction however, on an overall basis, the affordability continues to be very strong at 3.61x annual income. Over time interest rates and prices (from Dec ’14 onwards) have trended down, while incomes have risen thereby increasing the affordability significantly. The other impact of affordability is that customers now can move to the bigger developers who have the capabilities to deliver on promises. When affordability was low, customers had no choice but to settle for lesser known developers leading to a fragmented market.

Comparing sales velocity in H1 2022 to H1 2021, there is a 31% increase in sales (from 40,669 units to 53,398 units). Sales velocity increased by 24% in the last 12 months compared the previous 12 month period (from 85,378 units to 1,05,625 units)

The PremiumPlus and Luxury segment has done exceedingly well with high double digit growth rates of 75% and 74%. The segment that is still underserved is the Budget segment and one should expect to see an increased supply in this segment going forward. At 53,398 units offtake at a six monthly level is the highest that we have seen in the last 7.5 years. The least growth in offtake is seen in the Budget segment (+4%).

The number of large projects (those with more than 500 units) as on Jun ’22 is 177 which in Jun ’18 was 115. This absolute number has increased by 54% over the last 5 years. In Jun ’18, these 115 projects constituted ~3% out of the total of 3,472 projects being developed.  In Jun ’22, the 177 projects constituted  7% out of the total of 2,503 projects being developed.

Looking at the total inventory distributed across small projects (<=100 units)- only 15% of the total inventory is in this segment. This used to be 30% 5 years ago. In contrast large projects ( >=500 units) now constitute 11% of the total inventory in Pune.

Here are the key highlights of the report, encompassing trends from January to June 2022:

 # Highest ever launch of new homes at 1,15,996 – a surge of 80%

The effect of the pandemic has totally been eliminated when it comes to new projects being launched.

Fresh supply launched remained at an elevated level and conclusively above pre-covid levels for two consecutive 6 monthly periods in the running. For the 12 months ended Jun’21, a total of 64,617 units were brought to the market. This has risen by 80% to 115,996 homes being brought to market in the 12 months ended Jun ‘22. This is the highest 12 month new inventory ever introduced into the Pune market.

# Inventory available for sale at 74,818 units

At an overall level, the inventory available for sale is 74,818 apartments, 30% below peak of 1,07,402 apartments seen in Jun ’16.

Ready inventory constitutes 5.19% of the units available as on Jun ’22.  Ready inventory for sale has come down from 8,369 homes in Jun ’20 to 3,880 in Jun ’22.  This low level of ready inventory is also at historic lows. The End + ready inventory now constitutes 6.5% as on Jun ’22 – 50% lower than what it was 5 years ago when it constituted ~13%

# Highest ever sales for the year at 1,05,625 homes, an increase of 24 %

Comparing sales velocity in H1 2022 to H1 2021, there is a 31% increase in sales (from 40,669 units to 53,398 units). Sales velocity increased by 24% in the last 12 months compared the previous 12 month period (from 85,378 units to 1,05,625 units).

When you look at how sales recovery responded after the 1st and 2nd covid wave we see that sales volume has sustained for the last 12 months even after the 2nd wave effects have subsided.

# Premium Plus and Luxury segments leading the fresh supply

Looking at the more granular 6 monthly growth data of new launches, we see the same pattern of Premium Plus and Luxury segments leading the fresh supply with growth rates well into triple digits. The PremiumPlus segment saw a Y-o-Y increase of 160% in the fresh supply launched while the Luxury segment did even better clocking 287%. These are all strong indications of a customer base that has moved up the value chain on a consistent basis and continues doing so.

# Prices of homes across the city have increased by 8.11%

The average prices of homes across the city have increased by 8.11% in the last 12 months. There is a rise in prices across the board especially in the new projects where prices have gone up by ~ 24% in the last 12 months. 70 projects have been launched in the Luxury segment (Average price ~Rs 10,000+ Psf) which has contributed to the significant rise in the average prices across the city.

 About the Gera Pune Residential Realty Report:

The Gera Pune Residential Realty Report is a bi-annual initiative by Gera Developments that is aimed at garnering insights on both the supply and demand sides of the residential realty market in Pune. This longest-running, census-based study uses feet on street methodology of data gathering and covers the Pune Urban Agglomeration area. The data is then validated and statistically analysed. What started, as a knowledge gathering initiative in 2011 has now become something that realtors, IPCs, Research Houses, Brokerage Houses and Banks & Financial Institutions look forward to. Besides a broad overview on inventory available, offtakes and prices, the report dives deeper to mine insights by price segment, sq. footage, construction stage and size of unit.

About Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd. (GDPL):

Gera Developments Private Limited, a 50-year, reputed brand, one of the pioneers of the real estate business in Pune, is recognized as the creators of premium residential and commercial projects in Pune, Goa and Bengaluru and has now marked its global presence through developments in California, USA.

GDPL prides itself on providing long-term enjoyment to customers by having a distinct ‘customer-first approach. The philosophy of GDPL is “Let’s Outdo,” which rests on the trinity of innovation, transparency, and enhancing customer experience. It is at the heart of GDPL’s effort to infuse innovation and transparency in real estate and home building, with an unwavering focus on meeting the shifting lifestyle dynamics of their customers while upholding the premium living experience. Accordingly, there are many ‘firsts’ that stand to GDPLs credit. The company introduced a 5-Year Warranty on Real Estate consisting of Preventive Maintenance & Repairs and provision of Insurance of buildings way back in 2004 for the first time in India. RERA mandated the same only in 2017. And GDPL has now introduced India’s first & only 7-year warranty in real estate. It has designed and launched the pathbreaking concept, the award-winning ChildCentric® Homes, which has revolutionized the real estate sector for both the developer and the home buyer. Other revolutionary and highly successful product lines have been IntelliplexesTM, SkyVillasTM, and The Imperium series.

These products are matched by the services of the GeraWorld® Mobile App, which brings speed, convenience, and transparency to the buyer and enhances the customer experience. GDPL has also recently launched the Club Outdo initiative, a tech-driven loyalty and referral programme that provides multiple benefits, offers, and community engagement opportunities to existing and new customers.

The company emphasizes delivering value-added experiences to customers and is driven by trust, quality, customer first, and innovation. The projects are designed around the evolving needs of their customers. The company has won several national and international awards on both the product and service front. GDPL also continues to be certified as ‘India’s Great Mid-size Workplaces’ by the Great Places to Work (GPTW) Institute for the fifth straight year in a row. GDPL has also ranked #18 on the list of Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for in Asia in 2021.

GDPL envisions bringing out the best of real estate in India. As it redefines new standards of service orientation, product innovation, real estate marketing, and brand building, it is consistently generating fresh value for its stakeholders and raising the bar for the industry. 

Please visit www. gera. in for more information.
For further media queries, please contact:

Sonia Kulkarni, Hunk Golden and Media

Mobile: 9820184099 | Email: sonia.kulkarni@hunkgolden.in

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Investment bankers turned entrepreneurs launch Sudo Foods, serving up plant-based meat across Bengaluru!

Sudo’s plant-based kebabs, samosas, and other snacks closely replicate the taste, texture, and bite of their chicken and mutton counterparts, but are made completely from ethical, plant-based ingredients.

Bengaluru: In a fast-growing market that has demonstrated an appetite for homegrown plant-based brands, Bengaluru-based Sudo Foods has launched plant-based chicken samosas, chicken seekh kebabs, chicken popcorn, and mutton galouti kebabs. The plant-based startup’s ethos is to ‘unjunk’ packaged food and offer kind alternatives to India’s vast non-vegetarian population.

With four products out on the market and a fifth (plant-based chicken burger patty) in the pipeline, Sudo Foods is redefining plant-based snacking. The founders, Abhinav Chawla and Sadhika Agarwal, believe in using fresh, natural, and ethical ingredients – plant-based sources like seitan and soya with zero preservatives, zero cholesterol, and zero trans fats. The clean label aims to make plant-based meat healthier, tastier, and more convenient. Their ready-to-cook products can be served up in under 10 minutes and are currently retailing via D2C and B2C channels.

The startup has been operating in stealth mode over the last year as they developed their products to perfection, and has now launched across Bengaluru via the Sudo Foods website and on retailing platforms like VeganDukan and NotFoods. The brand will soon be listed on popular marketplaces as well.

With the addition of new plant-based startups like Sudo Foods, we’re moving closer to our goal of transforming the way that food – and our protein in particular – is produced and consumed around the world. In India there are now more than 50 smart protein companies active, and with brands like Sudo Foods joining these ranks, the market is poised for further growth. India is becoming an increasingly lucrative market for plant-based meat startups, with a large population of non-vegetarians looking to cut down their meat consumption due to a combination of concerns like sustainability and health. Contrary to popular opinion, 77% of Indians self-identify as non-vegetarians as per the latest National Family Health Survey – NFHS 5. The Indian market is ripe for transformation, with consumers looking towards plant-based alternatives for a simple switch, without giving up the delicious appeal of meat.

Research from expert nonprofit Good Food Institute India found that 63% of Indian consumers are very or extremely likely to purchase plant-based meat in a cross-country consumer acceptance study. This response from consumers – most of whom are currently ‘early adopters’ of plant-based meat – compared favorably with the U.S. and China. Among this early adopter cohort are the founders of Sudo Foods themselves – Abhinav and Sadhika. The idea behind Sudo’s offerings came about when they decided to stop eating meat a few years ago, concerned about their carbon footprints and the industrial animal agriculture industry.

Talking about the brand’s raison d’etre, Abhinav Chawla, Co-Founder, Sudo Foods, former investment banker and IIT Roorkee alum said, “After I gave up eating meat, I missed its taste and texture and couldn’t find an alternative butter chicken or tikka or kebab that wowed me. Until we decided to create one.” Adding on to how they went from an idea to a product, Sadhika Agarwal, Co-Founder, Sudo Foods and former investment banker said, “A couple of months from the genesis of the idea, we started experimenting in our kitchen. We were clear we wanted to solve for taste, nutrition, and convenience – all while upholding food ethics. So, we decided to make plant-based foods like kebabs for the Indian palate, made without any preservatives or chemicals. Our products are made from fresh and natural ingredients, and don’t taste like packaged food!”

Experts at GFI India are working closely with plant-based startups like Sudo Foods towards improving and optimizing their products. GFI India’s Senior Innovation Specialist Nicole Rocque said, “Improving taste, price, and convenience is the holy grail when it comes to plant-based meat, but globally and in India as well, we’ve seen that consumers are choosing these foods for reasons of personal health and nutrition. A majority of conscious consumers will pay attention to the labeling on plant-based products – checking both the front and the back to examine ingredient lists, protein content, and other nutritional information. Plant-based meats generally have fewer calories and less saturated fat. They contain zero cholesterol and almost always contain fiber. It’s fantastic to see startups like Sudo Foods recognizing that health is an important factor that determines the acceptance and uptake of plant-based meats. This could help them carve out a niche in the plant-based market in India.”

Find and tag Sudo Foods on the following social media handles: LinkedIn & Instagram.
For more information, contact: Sadhika Agarwal, Co-Founder, Sudo Foods at sadhika@sudofoods.com.

Find and tag GFI India on the following social media handles: LinkedIn,Twitter, Instagram.
For more information, contact: Ayesha Marfatia, Communications Associate, Good Food Institute India at
ayesham@gfi.org.

About GFI India: The Good Food Institute India (GFI India) is the central expert organization, thought leader, and convening body in the Indian ‘alternative protein’ or ‘smart protein’ sector. As part of an international network of nonprofits with partners in the U.S., Brazil, Israel, and Asia Pacific, GFI India is on a mission to build a secure, sustainable, and just global food system. With unique insight across science, business, and policy, we are using the power of food innovation and markets to accelerate the transition of our food system toward alternative proteins. In building the sector from the ground up in India, we’re aiming to establish a model for its growth all across the developing world.

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Merlin Group forays into Pune Realty Market

Launches 18-East – a plush commercial project at Koregaon Park Annexe

Pune, July 5, 2022: Merlin Group, One of the nation’s leading real estate conglomerates focused on highly sustainable projects with a strong presence in eastern India and across some major states, has announced formally the entry of the group in the burgeoning Pune realty market today. The group is all set to change the skyline of the city with an array of ambitious projects across the length and breadth of the vibrant city. Merlin group is one of the most trusted brands for nearly four decades and developers of over 20 million sq. ft. of projects in Kolkata alone with presence in Chennai, Raipur, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar and Colombo, Sri Lanka. The group has established its trust and credibility across the country and beyond. It has gone beyond buildings to win hearts and change lives through superior technology and quality craftsmanship.
The group is planning to set its footprint in the real estate landscape of Pune with over 30 lac sq. ft. of proposed inventory. The group is coming up with a host of premium residential and commercial projects in Koregaon Park Annexe., Wakad, Baner and Jambhulwadi.

To mark the entry, Merlin Group has announced the launch of 18 East, a plush commercial game changing project in office and Showrooms spaces at Koregaon Park Annexe.Strategically located on Pune’s highly premium location of Koregaon Park Annexe, the project is a commercial development which will host many corporate houses. Spread over 1.5 lakh sq. ft. area this business center is certain to compliment one’s ambitions and achievements by providing an inspiring work environment with its ultra-modern design and state-of-the-art features. Standing tall at 74 metres, the project is advantageously positioned at the most promising business destination that affords a work-life balance for employees and a value-stature balance for the business. The construction work has started and the project will be ready by the year 2025.

Announcing the entry in Pune realty market, Mr. Saket Mohta, Managing Director, Merlin Group said, “Pune is one of the fastest growing cities in India and holds tremendous potential for economic and industrial growth. The city has rightly earned the title of Oxford of the East for being the hub of education and Engineering and automotive companies are sprouting in the city. With Pune emerging as a major IT hub, the city now attracts thousands of professionals, driving up demand for retail housing. The ambitious Pune development plan will also provide a fillip to real estate prospects with developers expected to see more traction. Developers are already exploring acquisition of land parcels for development in these new locations around Pune that have been earmarked. Merlin as a leading real estate player in East and other parts of India, is poised to leverage this growth and promises to add to the skyline of the most promising city in India.”
“Project 18 East is the perfect choice for small and medium businesses with its mix of boutique offices, large offices with single floor plate and double height showrooms. At 18 East, one’s business would get its persuasive edge. The well planned blend of space, aesthetics and premium specifications would provide a conducive and energetic ambience for optimum work output,” added Saket Mohta.

“The property market in the city registered sales of 37,218 units last year, while a total of 3.8 million sq.ft of office space was transacted by the end of 2021. This year, the market is expected to see a rising graph on both residential and commercial fronts. On the commercial front, the city saw enormous demand from the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector with co-working and manufacturing sectors. We hope our project 18-east will cater to the ever increasing demand in the office space in Pune”, signed off Saket Mohta.

About Project 18 East : Project 18 East is poised to become a state-of –the-art commercial skyscraper with 74 meters high tower in the bustling Koregaon Park Annexe, the central business district of Pune. The location would offer over 100 acres of lush green views on one side and the marvellous cityscape on the other. The tower with 20 stories would offer 16 floors for offices ranging from 569 sq.ft to 5830 sq.ft. It would also provide an option of flexi office planning for larger spaces. The promising project also would house double height retail showrooms with mezzanine on the ground floor ranging from 1586 sq.ft to 2026 sq.ft in area with large frontage. These plush double height showrooms have a height of 6.7 metres. The project will offer 2 basement and 3 levels of podium parking.

Elegant double glazed glass façade, 100% generator back-up, Grand double height AC entrance lobby, Dedicated dining and recreation zone for employees, strategic location and quality construction by Merlin Group is sure to make 18 East the most preferred commercial destination.

Located on the Pune Mumbai highway, Project 18 east has a strategic advantage of connectivity between the IT hubs of Kharadi and Hadapsar on one side and the upscale Koregaon Park, Kalyani Nagar, Shivaji Nagar and Viman nagar on the other side. The seamless accessibility to city’s prominent IT clusters and employment hubs such as Magarpatta, Kharadi, Hadapsar, Viman Nagar, Bund Garden Road, Camp and Boat Club Road would accord Project 18 east an edge over others. The project is also situated near the upcoming metro station, Pune railway station and airport. The project is also close to residential landmarks such as Trump Towers, Verde, Windermere, Sky Lounge, Fortaleza, etc.
A clutch of five-star hotels like Westin, Marriott Suites, Conrad, Taj Blue Diamond, Hyatt will be in the close vicinity to the project. It is also close to best shopping malls like Phoenix Mall, Seasons Mall, Amanora Mall and Mariplex Mall. Just Minutes away from the project are multiplexes like PVR, Cinepolis, Inox and Gold Adlabs. 18 East also offers an option of fine dining in the city’s best restaurants and eateries like StarBucks, Flour Works, German Bakery, and many more. Well known hospitals like Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital, Columbia Asia, Ruby Hall, Jehangir Hospital are also closeby the project.

After hectic schedules at work, employees can unwind at the best pubs & lounges in the city like One lounge, Oak Lounge, Penthouze, High Spirits Cafe, and many more located at a stone throw away distance from 18 East.

About Merlin Group:

Emanated in 1984, Merlin Group is now one of the pre-eminent conglomerates in the real estate industry in India, having a plenitude of prestigious residential and commercial complexes, office buildings and townships to its credit over the past four decades. Its presence spans across Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Raipur, Pune, Chennai as well as Colombo. Merlin has developed over 20+million sq.ft of prime commercial, residential and retail space in India along with international operations in Colombo, Srilanka. Currently, It has 40 million sq.ft under construction. The group has delivered over 100 projects and possesses over 500-acre land bank. Our motto is to build quality products and to provide the unique experience to our esteemed customers. With the shifting epoch, Merlin Group has now extended its movement to contemporary shopping malls, resort, industrial estate, clubs etc. Merlin Group is your go-to place where you will find it all under one roof. With a fleet of prestigious residential and commercial complexes spanning across India, Merlin Group has innovated with various formats and core projects including premium housing, essential housing, country homes and bungalows, specialty malls, office towers, I.T. buildings, hotels, new generation clubs, and resorts, serviced apartments, stadium and townships
Merlin’s portfolio of real estate developments spans the commercial, residential, retail and hospitality segments of the real estate industry. Merlin’s residential projects are also designed to obtain IGBC Green Homes certification as part of the efforts towards creating sustainable developments. The group has launched a mega sports city project in Kolkata where international sports icons like Ronalidin Ho, Michael Phelps, Yuvraj Singh and Tiger Shroff are setting up their academies. Among commercial projects, the group has Acropolis Mall and South City Mall in Kolkata. The group also owns Ibiza the fern resort and spa, Kolkata and Princeton Club in Kolkata. The group has recently launched its prestigious project “Altair”, a Hi end residential project designed by architect Moshe Sabdi.

For further information
Sarbani Bhattacharya/Merlin Group / 9831940360/ 9830229102
MahaRera No.: P52100035065 available on website: https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in

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