In the present generation, everyone is on the quest for something great. But, what is mutual among everyone, is the quest for food, great food. Everyone is on the lookout for something new – a new dish, a new restaurant or a new cuisine. But, it isn’t always see. An eat-out experience isn’t always a good one; it is either too far, too expensive or low on quality. You can order food at home, but, it gets monotonous after a while and you don’t feel like having it anymore.
With an aim to fill the gap between fine-dining and its accessibility, Holachef.com was launched. It aims to connect the best chefs in town with food lovers and, also, to provide them with an amazing food experience, without having to shed in a lot of money.
What is Holachef all about?
Holachef, which comes with the mission to connect the best chefs in town with foodies, is an extension of your passion for food. There always remains a gap between the good fine dine experience and its accessibility. To bridge this gap, Saurabh Saxena co-founded this Mumbai-based company with Anil Gelra.
Saurabh is also an advisor and mentor to promising startups and budding entrepreneurs. Anil is adept at creating internet scale applications delivered over mobile and web. He brings to Holachef his acumen for designing, developing and scaling big data applications.
Currently, Holachef is a team of 15 and has over 150 chefs onboard with a total of 25 members in the delivery queue.
How does it Work?
Unlike, every other restaurant food delivery or 30 minute guaranteed delivery chain, Holachef believes the fact that someone who is looking forward to a sumptuous lunch or dinner would plan it well in advance. Following this theory, they deliver the food in specific timeslots.
Holachef.com connects the customers to an impressive set of chefs with a rich culinary experience through an online portal. The customers can order only via the mobile app or the desktop hence eradicating the need for menu pamphlets. Moreover, Holachef provides a new menu every day. The meals are provided in a single-person meal format, which prevents wastage and the spill free, recyclable packaging comes with an option for the customer to choose the time of delivery.
Of all the traffic that they entertain to, Holachef interestingly gets 65 percent of its traffic from phone users while the remaining 35 percent comes from the desktop users.
The Online Food Industry
The Indian food industry stands at $50 Bn and is growing rapidly. The demand for good food has increased and market is slowly waking up to the opportunities in the online food sector given that the home-delivery segment is growing at a whopping 40%. Thus, the market to be covered is vast and compared to the international standards, the Indian Online food delivery is at a very early stage and needs time to grow.
Holachef has served over 3000 customers in the past 5 months and has a retention rate of 60%. The average orders per customer have also increased from 2 to 5 per month. The revenue model is a share of the price at which the meals are listed.
With a revenue of INR 60,000 in the first month of September 2014, Holachef has grown to INR 16 Lac revenue in the month of February 2015. And looking forward to increase the number month on month basis.
The main advantage that Holachef has over everyone even remotely related to this industry is the fact that they are a community of chefs with the required skill and experience rather than a single chef heading over a team of cooks. There are in the similar services, but, the biggest competition is the local restaurants that deliver food.
Holachef is a one-of-its-kind service and restaurant aggregators and restaurants moving into online-ordering and mobile ordering could be considered their immediate competitors. But, the one-person meal formats also make it more convenient to order food in a specified proportion and to prevent any wastage.
The Road Ahead
According to Saurabh,” Holachef.com is as much about food as it is about technology. Technology is a huge enabler and not just for making a simple ordering process for the consumer. Technology automation on our backend system allows us to service more people, more efficiently. Technology helps us in predicting demand as well as planning deliveries better.”
Holachef.com has raised INR 2 Cr funding from India Quotient in the form of convertible notes. They now intend to raise INR 25-30 Cr to fund their expansion across Mumbai and 6-7 other cities across India.
Without leaving out on any factor, the company plans to expand with deeper penetration into at least 4 more Indian cities in the next 2 years.
They have a high engagement of customers and repeat ordering rate and going forward they plan to invest into marketing to expand their customer base and would soon be serving more orders per month than any other fine-dine or casual dining restaurant in Mumbai.
The food-tech industry is investor’s new favourite and over the past few months has become a hot domain for startups. Recent developments in food tech startups space are as follows:
- Foodpanda acquired JustEat India
- SpoonJoy got funding from Sachin Bansal & others
- TinyOwl got INR 100 Cr. from Matrix, Sequoia & Nexus in Series B
- FreshMenu soon to close INR 31 Cr. in funding from Lightspeed Venture
- FreshWorld got funding from Kris Gopalakrishnan & IAN
- FRSH has raised about $250k – $200k
- Gurgaon-based Yumist has grabbed Series A funding led by Orios Venture Partners.
- Faaso’s raised $20 Mn from Lightbox & Sequoia In Series B
Holachef.com has combined technology and the love for food to create a product which will enhance the customer’s fine-dine experience. Thanks to an upwardly mobile, unceasingly busy and tremendously aspirational generation, the appetite for good food is increasing and Holachef.com is making sure that this need is taken care of.