Walko Food fundingImage Credit: Unsplash

Walko Food, the parent company of premium ice cream brands NIC and Cream Pot, has successfully raised $20 million in a recent funding round led by existing investor Jungle Ventures. This marks Jungle Ventures’ second investment in Walko Food within less than 12 months, following a $11 million round in May of the previous year.

The fresh injection of capital is set to fuel Walko’s ongoing expansion initiatives, targeting an increase in its product portfolio and customer reach. A significant portion of the funds will be dedicated to accelerating Walko’s penetration into the rapidly growing Indian ice cream market, solidifying the company’s position as a key player in the industry.

Founded in 2012 by Jeetendra Bhandari, Sanjiv Shah, and Raj Bhandari, Walko Food boasts a diverse range of offerings, including premium ice creams, kulfis, frozen desserts, and thick shakes. The company’s brands, including NIC, Grameen Kulfi, Yummo, and Cream Pot, are available on various food tech and quick commerce platforms such as Instamart, Zomato, Swiggy, and Blinkit, among others.

Walko Food has demonstrated remarkable growth, achieving a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 90% over the last five years and establishing a presence in over 100 cities across India. The company’s commitment to innovation and market leadership is underscored by recent strategic moves, such as appointing celebrity Rashmika Mandanna as the brand ambassador for its premium ice cream brand NIC.

NIC, Walko’s flagship ice cream brand, competes with both new-age and established brands, including Cream and Fudge, Havmor, Baskin Robbins, Kwality Walls, Mother Dairy, Cream Bell, Amul, and Vadilal. Despite facing competition, NIC has reported a revenue increase of 32% to Rs 170 crore during FY23, reinforcing its strong market position.

Jungle Ventures, a Singapore-based early-growth-focused venture capital firm, sees substantial potential in Walko Food’s growth trajectory. Arpit Beri, Partner, India Investments, Jungle Ventures, commented, “Walko is tapping into a multi-billion-dollar opportunity in the Indian ice cream industry. In recent years, ice cream has captivated Indian consumers, causing a structural shift in dessert consumption patterns from traditional Indian sweets to ice cream. Walko has showcased leadership in this segment with a diverse range of brands spanning various price points.”

The collaboration with Jungle Ventures signifies a strong vote of confidence in Walko Food’s management team and its vision to nurture and grow existing brands across various sales channels. Sanjiv Shah, Director, Walko Food Company, stated, “The capital raised will help to expand Walko’s operational capacity, enrich our product offerings, and diversify with the mass-market ice cream brand – Yummo.”

The recent funding follows Walko Food’s strategic partnerships and initiatives aimed at strengthening its market presence. The company’s foray into the Indian mass retail market with the introduction of Yummo, its mass-market ice cream brand, further demonstrates Walko Food’s commitment to meeting diverse consumer demands.

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