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Zomato-Backed Foodtech Startup Tinmen Shuts Shop

Zomato-Backed Foodtech Startup Tinmen Shuts Shop

Tinmen took to its official website to inform its customers about the development

Foodtech unicorn Zomato had made an investment into the startup in 2017

Tinmen offered home-cooked lunches to working professionals

Hyderabad-based food delivery startup, Tinmen, which saw investment from foodtech unicorn Zomato in 2017, has shut down operations. Tinmen took to its official website to inform its customers about the development.

“We are sorry to inform you that Tinmen will be shutting down from Dec 1st, 2019 onwards. If there is one thing that had remained constant in the last 4 years, it was the constant love we got from most of the users who ordered food from Tinmen. We are very grateful for this,” reads Tinmen’s website.

The website also talks about how the chefs have cooked and delivered 2 Mn meals on Tinmen. However, the reasons for the shutdown has not been revealed yet. Inc42 reached out to Tinmen founders to know the reasons behind the shutdown, and their response is added below.

Founded in August 2015 by Mukesh Manda and Chaitanya Degala, Tinmen offered home-cooked lunches to working professionals. The startup provided office lunches with a scheduler built in their app.

In January 2016, Tinmen raised an undisclosed amount in angel round from the Lead Angel Network. Later, in September 2017, when Zomato invested in it, the home-chef aggregator startup became quite a known face in the startup ecosystem. According to media reports, Zomato had picked up a minority stake of around lower double digits in Tinmen.

Talking about the acquisition, Deepinder Goyal had said via a blog post, “We are exploring alliances with existing players, big and small, to help surface a larger variety of healthy meal options to our users.”

Tinmen targeted to achieve more than one lakh orders per month by March 2018 leveraging Zomato’s huge user base in Hyderabad. However, the shutting down proves things didn’t go as per plans. 

The company’s founder Mukesh Manda also shared the press statement which read: “We thank our investors who believed in our vision and supported us throughout our journey. All users that have any balance left in their Tinmen wallet, will receive a refund link over sms/email/WhatsApp by December 3rd, 2019. Users can use the link to transfer their balance to any of their bank accounts or digital wallets.”

Tinmen’s USP was that it allowed users to start and opt-out of the deliveries at a day’s notice and also customers could pre-schedule their meals. The meals started at INR 65 and no delivery charges were levied. The business model also offered virtual cafeteria to companies that wanted to give lunch benefits to its employees.

Home-Chef Aggregators Yet To Pick Up The Pace

While Indians have been fond of home-cooked food, the sector hasn’t picked up in terms of scale and fundraising.

Gurugram-based foodtech startup Yumist shut down its operations in 2016. The startup was founded in November 2017 by former Zomato official, Alok Jain, and restaurateur Abhimanyu Maheshwari. Yumist, served home-style meals prepared in their own kitchens. Failure in raising funding was one of the reasons behind the shutdown, said the founders.

The founders wrote in a blog post, “We failed to raise the kind of capital that this business required while staying true to the customer problem. In hindsight, there’s a bunch of internal and external factors that led us to this dead end.” The company had raised two rounds of funding totally $3Mn from Ronnie Screwvala led Unilazer Ventures, Orios Venture Partners and Steven Lurie, a Valley-based investor.

Another food delivery startup, founded in August 2014, TinyOwl, shut down operations in May 2016. The Mumbai-based startup had raised $27.67 Mn from four investors, including Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital. The startup was later acquired by the hyperlocal delivery startup Roadrunnr.

Eight months after raising seed funds, celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor backed Zupermeal, another home delivery food venture shut down in May 2016.

Update Note: 14:15 | December 2, 2019

Tinmen Cofounder Mukesh Manda Speaks Out

“The reason for shutdown is that we were unsuccessful in our efforts to raise the capital necessary for sustained growth,” said cofounder of Tinmen Mukesh Manda.