The opportunity in the food-tech segment is huge; with professional chefs and fast delivery options – companies are creating new brands of Fast Food Chains. And, the industry is attracting a lot of investors. (Interesting fact: Chipotle’s profits were worth more than Google’s in 2014!).
Having discovered a problem area, Aman Gupta and Prateek Soni co-founded a food-tech startup, FoodPort in Jan 2015; with an aim to change the way – ‘people eat at work’.
Aman Gupta wrote in a blog post, “There isn’t a professional, customer-driven service that would really excite people to buy food everyday from them. People are actually compromising on the quality of food at work as they don’t have access to homely food or a decent enough canteen.”
The company’s Kitchen is run under the strict supervision of D.K Soni, Ex-Head Chef at Taj SATS, and is the founder advisor of FoodPort. Soni served Taj SATS for more than two decades, and travelled with the head of states, to ensure strict quality standards.
Sailing on their USP of delivering fast, nutritious and international-standard gourmet meals at reasonable prices, Gurgaon based Foodport boasts a current traction of about 100 meals per day. They were bootstrapped initially, whilst only serving lunch and snacks for five days a week (Monday – Friday).
They have now raised a seed funding of $100k from GHV Accelerator and plan to reach 500 orders per day by October 2015,intending to include weekends and dinner orders plus real-time deliveries. Adding on to the prospective plans, “We are targeting a GMV of $45-50K per month, by October 2015,” said Aman.
Vikram Upadhyaya Chief Evangelist and Mentor at GHV Accelerator says, “Most food startups we evaluated from the eco-system were either tech-focused or food-focused; but in Foodport we found the perfect marriage that makes this model scalable and gives them the prospects of having that hockey-stick growth chart we look for.”
The Website offers four time-slots (between 12 PM-4 PM) for food delivery, orders can be placed 45 minutes before the time-slot closes. The food gets delivered in a pre-fixed time slot in a beautiful packaging, with all the aromas intact.
FoodPort allows user to choose the time, when they want to get the food delivered, and the packaging box is 100% recyclable and the trays inside are microwaveable.
Average Ticket Size: INR 200
Ratio of Old v/s New Customers: 3:1 (75% are recurring)
Operational Cities: Gurgaon
Team Size: 12 (including the delivery team)
Present Traction: 100 meals/day
No. of Dishes offered: Roster of 60+ dishes, which keeps rotating to have 4-6 main courses, plus desserts and snacks per day.
No. of Cuisines: 3 (Indian, Continental and Oriental )
Talking of the challenges, Aman Gupta, Co-Founder FoodPort said, “There are several challenges that arise while delivering gourmet food. From how it looks, to how it travels – both are critically important. The process has to be a notch above the rest, and this is where we’ve spent a big chunk of our resources on. We are finding ways to use technology to innovate in this space, and that’s what really makes us a food-tech company, and not just a food company.”
Competition and Market Size
According to Aman, Food Delivery is a $2 Bn market growing at 30-40% annually. Some of the closest competitors to FoodPort are – Delhi-based Frsh, Delhi-based Foodeato, Gurgaon-based Yumist, Gurgaon-based Eatonomist – all of them are internet first restaurants and target the same userbase as FoodPort.
Speaking about competition, Aman says, “There are a lot of competitors who have carved a niche for themselves in this space. We differentiate ourselves by our food, i.e. gourmet and nutritious food at affordable prices. We try to curate our daily menu in a such a way that the food is ‘habit-forming’, in the sense that it’s nutritious, hygienic and of course, delicious. It is not just food, it is an experience.”