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FMCG Giant Emami Acquires 19% Stake In Nutrition Focussed D2C Startup TruNativ

FMCG Giant Emami Acquires 19% Stake In Nutrition Focussed D2C Startup TruNativ

India’s D2C health foods segment has seen rapid growth over the past year

TruNativ offers a range of protein-focused food supplements offerings

The D2C startup is looking to sell its products through multiple channels, but its primary focus remains online commerce

FMCG company Emami Limited has picked up a 19% equity stake in True Native F&B, the parent company of TruNativ, a nutrition-focused D2C FMCG startup. The amount remains undisclosed as of now.

The move can be attributed to Emami’s strategy of making an entry into the D2C healthy food and beverage vertical, and TruNativ most likely is going to be benefitted from Emami’s decade long presence and reach.  It goes without saying that TruNativ might go for an expansion post this equity acquisition.

Set up in 2019 by Mamta and Pranav Malhotra, TruNativ is a D2C smart nutrition startup that offers affordable and healthy food and beverage options to health and fitness enthusiasts.

Pranav Malhotra, founder of Tru Native F&B said, “TruNativ is poised to take advantage of this evolving opportunity through its innovative products delivered in convenient forms. It is exciting to have Emami come on board as a partner, who not only has very deep industry experience but also believes in our vision to make TruNativ a household brand.”

Working in line with the government’s POSHAN programme, TruNativ is currently working to build a network of influencers to run its referral and loyalty programmes.

Further, the D2C startup is looking to sell its products through multiple channels, but its primary focus remains online commerce.

Commenting on the same, Harsha V Agarwal, director, Emami Ltd said, “With health & wellness being the buzzword for consumers today, we see tremendous potential in the nutrition segment. “TruNativ” product offerings are very unique as they are based on real consumer habits and issues. We are excited to enter this segment which is in line with our investment strategy and look forward to adding meaningful value to the brand.”

Emami also invested in the male grooming startup, The Man Company, in 2019. Emami has always preferred buying equity stake as investment, and it raised its stake in the startup to 30% in February 2019. Currently, Emami’s stake in The Man Company stands at 48.5%.

India’s D2C health foods segment has seen some really rapid growth over the past few months.

TruNativ competes with the likes of power players such as Amway and Herbalife, and startups such as True Elements, Supply6, Trunativ, Auric, Wellbeing Nutrition, The Whole Truth, Zinga Vita, Kapiva among many others.

These D2C Health Food brands have seen rapid growth thanks to the transitions in consumer behaviour and the rise in health consciousness post the pandemic.

The segment, especially the foodtech, has been quite abuzz with funding and acquisitions. For example, In January, the fresh produce foodtech startup, Pluckk raised $5 Mn in seed funding from Exponentia Ventures; a fund focusing on emerging business ideas in both B2C and B2B segments. Pluckk focuses on delivering fresh produce directly to consumers, via its online platform.

In a similar vein as to the Emami deal, in January, Curefoods acquired 5 D2C food startups, taking the total brands under its portfolio to 20. Currently, the foodtech acquirer has more than 75 cloud kitchens as well. By the end of 2022, Curefoods looks to acquire 35+ brands, paying EBITDA multiples of 8-15x, and eyeing an ARR of $100 Mn.

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