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QSR Chain Hello Curry Acquires The First Meal To Draw A Sustainable Revenue Model

QSR Chain Hello Curry Acquires The First Meal To Draw A Sustainable Revenue Model

Hyderabad-based, quick service restaurant chain (QSR), Hello Curry, has acquired The First Meal, a food and delivery startup which takes pre-orders for customised health food.

The deal is a cash and stock deal that will allow Hello Curry to enter the breakfast and meal box segment.

Hyderabad-based The First Meal delivers on-demand customised breakfast. It has a subscription platform and presently serves five types of diet balanced breakfast items and daily changing nutritious lunches, tapping around 10,000 boxes a month, with 89% customer retention rate.

With the acquisition, Hello Curry attempts to draw a sustainable revenue model for long term and aims to sell 5,000 meals each day, within the next six months. Hello Curry which currently has 33 outlets in Hyderabad, plans to capture the entire Hyderabad market after First Meal’s acquisition, in the next three months, and then foray in other key markets including Bangalore.

Backed by early-stage venture fund SRI Capital, Hello Curry, was founded in 2014 by Raju Bhupati and Sandeep P. The startup specialises in serving Indian cuisine in a fast food format.

Raju Bhupati, founder and CEO of Hello Curry said, “The (food tech) industry is falling apart and it is obvious that only the ones who take extremely strategic steps have a survival chance. We are evaluating venturing into different areas very cautiously.”

In March this year, Hello Curry raised $1.5 Mn in bridge funding from Sashi Reddi, along with participation from unnamed US-based HNI. the stratup claimed that it has plans to foray in the overseas market by tying up with local franchise partners and is in process to open its first foreign outlet in Australia. It also had plans to open microformat kiosks under the Hello Paratha brand along with opening 100 outlets of Hello Curry by the end of 2016, in three cities where it operates.

The company said that it is in the process of raising $2-3 Mn to take care of the regular growth plan in India and would separately raise funds for overseas expansiion in a few months. Earlier in March, Hello Curry stated that it is planning to raise a $12 Mn funding, within four to six months, in the Series A round that would help the company fuel its expansion growth. Prior to this, Sashi Reddi had invested $900K (INR 6 Cr) in two tranches in seed funding through his seed stage venture fund Sri Capital.

In June last year, Hello Curry had acquired cloud and mobile-based POS (points of sale) systems startup Fire42 with an aim to expand pan India.

After being heavily funded for quite sometime, food tech startups are now facing downturn and have been shutting operations either in some cities or altogether. Experts tout that it is the lack of sustainable growth models in a fragmented market and harder customer acquisition.

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