Nilgai Foods raises equity investment from HNI Investor

Nilgai Foods raises equity investment from HNI Investor
Nilgai Foods, which operates the brand “PICO” across the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and FMCG gourmet foods space, has raised a first round of equity investment from an HNI investor to finance its expansion plans. As India’s first premium gourmet brand, PICOcaters to the gourmet consumer at both their workplace (with dining and delivery of Fresh Foods) and home (with products across categories such as jams, sauces, dips, dressings and baked goods sold through third-party retailers). Its product line incorporates unique and innovative flavourscarefully designed for the Indian palette such as ShahiMakhni Dip, Mango Chilli sauce and BhutJholokia sauce, which is India’s spiciest chilli sauce.

Nilgai Foods operates a chain of 11 PICO Express outlets in key locations in Mumbai, based in corporate parks, office complexes and gyms and provides a range of grab-and-go gourmet food. Over the near term, the company has plans to expand into other cities such as Delhi and Bangalore. The company’s FMCG range of products is currently available in stores across NCR and Mumbai, but the company has plans to take its product to all major metros and Tier I towns over the next few years.

The investor has acquired a minority stake in Nilgai Foods for an undisclosed amount. This investment will go towards expanding the business and meeting working capital requirements.

Intellecap acted as the sole advisor to the company on the transaction.

AbhayJaiswal, CEO of Nilgai Foods said, “Our vision is to make PICO India’s first global gourmet brand. Though young, our brand has seen strong consumer acceptance in both dining and FMCG. Over the next few years, we plan to take our QSR brand PICO Expressto cities like Delhi and Bangalore.Our FMCG products are currently in Delhi and Mumbai, but we plan to expand that reach rapidly over the next couple of years to reach over 10,000 retail stores across India. We will be looking at raising a further $7-10 million to finance our on-going expansion plans.”

Gagandeep Bakshi, Associate Director – Investment Banking at Intellecap commented on the potential of the gourmet food space saying, “The Indian Gourmet Foods market is estimated at INR 81 billion, and is one of the fastest growing segments in the space today, clocking growth rates of over 30% year-on-year. The growth in this space is primarily driven by changing consumer preferences and tastes due to increasing exposure to global cuisines.”

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Rajendra Ganotra is the Editor of Spicy Stars Mumbai

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