New Delhi-based food & beverages brand Rage Coffee has raised funding in a round led by early-stage investment firm Refex Capital. Angel network Keiretsu Forum Chennai and some other “prominent” investors will also be participating in this round.
The list of participants include T.D Mohan, former joint MD of CavinKare; Dr Rajan Srikanth, co president of Keiretsu Forum Chennai and Singapore; Prakash Katama, former CEO of TVS Electronics; Uday Sodhi, former business head at SonyLIV, private equity investor Ajay Sarupria, actor Rannvijay Singh Singha; A. Kumar, Founder of Gemini Paints, and Sawan Gupta, MD at Spero Group.
Founder and MD of Wazir Advisors, Harminder Sahni, joined Rage Coffee’s board of advisors for the fundraise. Moreover, Sridhar Parthasarathi, who is the managing partner at Refex Capital, has also joined the Board.
With this funding, Rage Coffee will expand its product offering and omnichannel distribution, scale up production and strengthen its team. The company aims to “capture market share of the category devoid of any innovation – be it the ingredients, formulations, manufacturing techniques, packaging, distribution or use of data to be agile.”
Founded in 2018 by Bharat Sethi, Rage Coffee is a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brand that deals in different varieties of coffee, without using any chemicals and is full of vitamins. The company claims to blend its coffee from plant extracts and natural compounds — Tea extract L-Theanine, fossil Ginkgo Biloba, L-Glutamine, and Panax Ginseng, among others.
Rage Coffee’s founder and CEO, Bharat Sethi, in a press statement, said, “Our approach to supply chain, sourcing, consumer segmentation, product R&D [Research and Development], D2C [Direct To Consumer] data-driven DNA combined with a hybrid distribution model and, most importantly, our close relationship with our customers places us in a great spot to build a brand that is truly poised to capitalise on the immense market opportunity.”
Rage Coffee retails its products through its website, other ecommerce platforms like Amazon and over 400 offline stores/touchpoints. The FMCG company plans to quadruple its sales and reach over 2000 outlets by the end of 2020. Rage Coffee will be banking on institutional and the foodservice industry — hotels, restaurants, cafe (HoReCa) business — to clock a significant chunk of sales.
To achieve its goals, Rage Coffee also appointed Arijit Mitra, former National Sales Head at Coke Beverages, as Director of Sales to grow the offline business in June 2019.
According to a Frost & Sullivan report, functional food & beverages in India is currently still in its initial stages growing at rate of 17.1% CAGR, expected to be valued at $4Bn in 2020. Some other players in this segment include Siliguri-based Udyan Tea, Mumbai-based Open Secrets and Bengaluru-based Hector Beverages with its brand Paper Boat.
In December 2019, Open Secrets raised funding in a round led by Matrix Partners India. Angel investors such as Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Snapdeal cofounders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and CEO of Godrej Consumer Products, Vivek Gambhir also participated in the round.