Mumbai-based fresh FMCG products company Drums Food International, the parent company of Epigamia, has raised $25.58 Mn (INR 182 Cr) in a Series C round of funding led by Belgium-based consumer-focused investment firm Verlinvest and New York City-based investor Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture investment arm of Danone Manifesto.
Other investors who participated in the round include existing backer DSG Consumer Partners (DSGCP), Samina Vaziralli, an executive vice chairperson of Cipla, and Innoven Capital, which chipped in its venture debt services.
Rohan Mirchandani, cofounder and CEO, Epigamia said that the company plans to use the fresh funds to expand its distribution across 25 cities in India and expand its range of fresh contemporary products with unique value propositions such as high protein, lactose-free, and probiotics.
Epigamia was launched in 2015 by Mirchandani, Uday Thakker, Chef Ganesh Krishnamoorthy, and Rahul Jain as a Greek Yogurt brand and has expanded its portfolio to include artisanal curd, snack pack, mishti doi (an Indian sweet curd), and smoothies. The company markets its products through 21 stock-keeping units and 10,000 retailing touch points including Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Big Basket and Amazon and other general traders across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata.
“We have a five-year vision to expand distribution across 50,000 touch points. We have been able to create and demonstrate value in managing a cold chain logistics fleet and intends to continue to scale this further as we develop new products. We may also look to partner or make some acquisitions in the future,” said Rahul Jain, founding partner, Epigamia.
Prior to this round, the company raised $12.63 Mn (INR 90 Cr) in Series B funding in July 2017, led by Verlinvest, InnoVen Capital and DSG Consumer Partners (DSGCP). Till date, the company has raised over $44.5 Mn in funding.
Laurent Marcel, managing director of Danone Manifesto Ventures, said, “We are convinced of Epigamia’s great growth potential thanks to its unique positioning on the Indian dairy market. We look forward to putting Danone’s resources and expertise to use in supporting Epigamia’s talented team as their business continues to expand across India.”
The Company also announced that Ramanpreet Sohi, formerly with Innovative Foods, has joined the team as CFO.
“We are delighted with the increasing adoption of the Epigamia brand with the new-age Indian consumer, which has driven us to double down on our investment in Drums Food. We continue to be very optimistic about the growth potential of healthy and premium dairy products for the Indian market,” said Arjun Anand, principal, Verlinvest.
The “India Spoonful Yogurt Market Overview 2017-2023” report said that the market is projected to grow around 20% of CAGR from 2017-18 to 2022-23.
The Indian startup ecosystem has been changing its game with new age entrepreneurs focusing on the niche products in the larger markets. As Epigamia makes Greek yogurt common in India the market is primed for fresh products and further growth.