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Sanjeev Kapoor, three partners to invest $2 mn in ZuperMeal

MUMBAI: Chef and entrepreneur Sanjeev Kapoor and Ravi Saxena, promoter of kitchen appliances firm Wonderchef, along with two foreign partners, have joined hands to invest up to $2 million (approx. Rs 13 crore) for an undisclosed stake in the Mumbai-based food start-up ZuperMeal.

Launched about two months ago, ZuperMeal is an app and delivery service for home-cooked meals to create a value proposition for the Indian passion for eating out, along with addressing the social cause of women empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Wonderchef MD Ravi Saxena said, “We decided to invest in ZuperMeal as it reflects our values, and leverages the skill set one has developed in building Sodexo, Wonderchef and other businesses over the last 20 years.”

Sanjeev Kapoor said, “Our idea of empowering homemakers through ZuperMeal is not just transactions, but we will also teach them various things regarding hygiene, food safety, storage and other health-related topics. Ultimately this is a skill set; the product that they already have and we are enabling them to earn through it.”

Launched by Pallavi Saxena, along with co-founders Balasubramanian A and Prabhakar Banerjee, ZuperMeal connects homemakers who love to cook to consumers who like healthy and tasty home-cooked food. The company also gets freshly cooked food picked up and delivered, and does the payments settlement between the consumers and providers.

ZuperMeal COO Balasubramanian A said, “We will look at carving out a significant market share of this pie. The differentiator would be our cutting-edge technology both for consumer interface as well as for management of logistics.”

Having launched operations at Powai in Mumbai two months back, investment from Wonderchef partners will encourage ZuperMeal to expand its operations.

“Funds would be utilised to upgrade our technology, expand the zuper-hub network, add talent to the team and create brand awareness. ZuperMeal aims to reach sales of Rs 4,500 crore across 500 towns with 60,000 home chefs by 2020. To achieve our goals, the business model would need $30 million investment,” said Pallavi Saxena.

Currently, ZuperMeal has 150 homemakers registered on the platform and dishes out an average of 60 to 70 meals a day, earning a net margin of 15 per cent.

Kapoor feels there is an opportunity to boost food processing at the household level through ZuperMeal.

ZuperMeal CMO Prabhakar Banerjee said, “This is an impressive growth for a new business within two months of its launch. The focus now is on social media connect and hyper-local marketing.”