Delhi-based fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain startup Lemon Leaf has raised $133K (INR 90 lakhs) in first external round of funding. The investment was secured from angel investors, Saurabh Sahni and Tushar Gupta, owner of Daily Delite Super Market.
The startup plans to utilise the raised capital to develop its manufacturing facility in Dwarka and build up sales. Lemon Leaf also plans to introduce complete range of vegetables and fruits in the market, having Lemon Leaf exclusive stores and franchisee stores.
Founded in 2015 by Sankalp Chandhok, Puneet Gulati, Rishubh Khurana and Praveen Kumar, Lemon Leaf provides quality and hygienic vegetables & fruits to consumers in both whole and pre-cut form. The startup has a dedicated team working to improve processes and develop technology to ensure higher shelf life for extensive range of products, without using any preservatives or artificial components.
It also has an ongoing consulting engagement with the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, for this.
Lemon leaf already has the production set up commissioned in Dwarka, Delhi, and has been selling the items to organized retail for couple of months. Its Dwarka facility currently has a capacity of processing 50,000 kg of products a day. The company processes and packages 15 vegetables and sells a total of 1,500 kg per day. It plans to start selling 15 more vegetables soon. It mainly sells its items through organised retail and several standalone vegetable vendors, presently.
Praveen says that the Delhi fruit and vegetable supply chain market is pegged at INR 14000 Cr per annum.
Earlier in April this year, Delhi-based online B2B marketplace for fruit and vegetable trade, Vegfru, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Wingify. In January, fresh farm vegetables and fruits supply chain venture Truce raised over $370K in an angel round of funding from Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal, InMobi co-founder Amit Gupta, Utsav Somani and Neeraj Goenka of Mumbai Angels.
Also, even hyperlocal delivery startups, which source products from a network of neighbourhood stores and don’t keep their own stock, are looking at creating their own supply chains for fresh fruits and vegetables, similar to how BigBasket operates. Grofers already sells fruits, vegetables and staples under its brand called Freshbury. BigBasket presently has 21 collection centres across the country to procure fruits and vegetables directly from farmers. It plans to invest up to INR 90 Cr to recruit hundreds more farmers to its network.
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