yu food fundingCofounders of Yu along with Indian Cricketer Hardik Pandya / Image Credit: Yu Foodlabs

Yu, the rapidly growing instant food brand, announced today that it has successfully raised Rs 20 crore (approximately $2.4 million) in a follow-on Series A round of funding. This funding comes on the heels of their last fundraise in November 2022 and is expected to accelerate Yu’s growth trajectory.

The funding round was led by renowned public market investor Ashish Kacholia and the Asian Paints Promoter Group, which includes Manish Choksi and Varun Vakil. Yu, founded by Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur, plans to utilize the funds to enhance its manufacturing capacity and diversify into multiple product categories and segments.

Yu Foodlabs, which began its journey with instant bowls in 2021, has since expanded its offerings to include ready-to-cook noodles, pastas, and natural beverages. The brand introduced natural coconut water in the previous year and now aims to strengthen its beverage portfolio in the upcoming summer season.

The funds will also support Yu’s ambitious plans to establish a nationwide distribution network within the next 12 months. The brand has experienced impressive growth in South Africa, where it has already built a presence in 2,000 stores. In addition to ramping up domestic distribution, Yu intends to solidify its position in South Africa.

As of the quarter ended December 2023, Yu has achieved a remarkable 200% quarter-over-quarter growth, driven by the sale of 1.5 million units. The brand boasts a diverse distribution network, including over 6,500 offline stores, online e-commerce, q-commerce, institutional segments, and exports.

Notable investors in Yu include Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya, boAt Founder Sameer Mehta, True North Private Equity’s Srikrishna Dwaram, PAG Private Equity’s Nikhil Srivastava, and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade’s (DPIITs) Start-Up India Seed Fund.

In a joint statement, founders Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur expressed their gratitude, saying, “It is extremely motivating to see our existing, highly eminent investors double down on us. The funds raised will allow us to augment our manufacturing capacity and grow our distribution in India and globally.”

Yu is committed to offering packaged foods that are as close as possible to freshly prepared foods, using 100% natural ingredients. The brand aims to continue its expansion and contribute to the global market with innovative and high-quality products.

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