Pune-based D2C health food brand True Elements has closed a funding round of INR 10 Cr from the Maharashtra State Social Venture Fund (MSSVF), managed by SIDBI, which invests in companies have an impact on the local community, ecosystem and those which are working to improve women workforce inclusion.
True Elements will be using this fund to strengthen its brand and product innovation. The startup uses Indian local produce like millets, grains, and seeds to manufacture healthy breakfast and snack foods. It claims to have a 75% women workforce in its production factory in Pune.
Founded by Puru Gupta and Sreejith Moolayil, True Elements claims to have grown 3X since the Covid-19 lockdown and has also improved its customer retention. SIDBI senior fund manager Mahendra Lodha said the company’s financials have been encouraging since it has reached EBITDA-positive levels despite no huge infusion till date.
In India, typically the native platforms of D2C brands have to be backed by a presence in third-party marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart, as well as a presence in brick-and-mortar retail stores, to reach all segments of consumers. True Elements currently sells its products through its website, ecommerce marketplaces and at over 6K general trade stores spread across the country.
“Our focus on technology and cost-efficiency has ensured that we are one of the most capital-efficient startups in the country. While we have been profitable so far this year, our endeavour now is to maintain consistent growth in EBITDA margins while scaling up, even with external funds,” said cofounder Puru Gupta.
In the health food space, True Elements has a host of competitors. The likes of Slurrp Farm, The Whole Truth and Soullful among several other D2C startups are looking to tap the healthfood wave. In December, Slurrp Farm raised $2 Mn from Fireside Ventures. Other FMCG D2C brands in the health snacks space include Forbidden Foods, Yogabars, Myprotein, Choko La, RiteBite, Rine, Eat Any Time among others.
True Elements cofounder Sreejith Moolayil added, “We are now preparing for Rs 1,000 crore topline in the next few years.”