Foodlink Raises US$ 8 Million in Series B Funding to Fuel Further Expansion in UAE & India
Foodlink, the market leader of the luxury catering and banqueting space in India and UAE, has raised US$ 8 million in its Series B funding round led by Arpit Khandelwal, Managing Partner, Plutus Wealth Management LLP. It will use these funds to expand its flagship business of luxury catering across newer geographies overseas, to take its luxury banquet brand called JADE Luxury Banquets to newer destinations, and to scale their casual dining restaurant business through its brands India Bistro, China Bistro & Art of Dum in UAE and India.
The company has so far raised US$ 23 million including the current round. It received US$ 15 million as part of its Series A round from OAKS Asset Management in 2017.
Foodlink Banqueting and Catering provides exclusively crafted culinary experiences from all around the world through curating F&B experiences at weddings, corporate events and everything in between including destination events in exotic locations in Europe, the Middle East, USA, and Asia Pacific. It is patronized by some of the wealthiest and most respected families and business houses in India and overseas.
While a lot of players have shut down operations during the pandemic, Foodlink has strategically used this time to fortify its presence in the UAE during FY21. The company has started 8 new restaurant / cloud kitchen units in Dubai & Sharjah in 2021. Foodlink has also entered into alliances with Dubai World Trade Centre and various other luxury hotels in the UAE. By 2025, Foodlink aims to be the market leader in India and Dubai across banqueting, catering and restaurant businesses.
The company has set up state of the art infrastructure for providing banqueting and catering services in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, and UAE with plans to expand in Delhi, Jaipur, Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain and other prominent cities in India as well as UAE, by partnering with real estate owners and partners who want the Foodlink brand to manage and run their banqueting facilities. Through its experienced in-house talent pool, and the strong alliances with top culinary talent from across the world, Foodlink offers authentic and unique experiences for its patrons. They also provide consultancy services and turnkey solutions to luxury hotels for grand events.
Foodlink has invested heavily in world class infrastructure with over 50000 sq.ft of kitchen space and over 35000 sq.ft of warehouse space. Foodlink is poised to leverage their relationships with some of India’s most powerful business families to gain a stronger foothold in the market. The experience from Covid-19 has necessitated higher food quality, hygiene and service standards, helping organized brands grab further market share.
Announcing the funding round, Mr. Sanjay Vazirani, founder of Foodlink said, “Our current revenue run rate for FY22 is INR 100 crore and we expect it to be around INR 300 crore by the end of FY23-24. Foodlink plans to leverage technology in a big way to support its growth across geographies. We have come a long way in organizing an otherwise fragmented industry, and we plan to take our management of sales pipeline, quality audits, infrastructure management & resource allocation to the next level of maturity post this round of funding. We are delighted to have Plutus on board and backing us for this next exciting phase of the Foodlink journey along with OAKS Asset Management who have been a valuable partner over the last few years.”
Mr. Arpit Khandelwal, Managing Partner at Plutus Wealth Management said, “Foodlink is an exceptional business that offers a unique way to invest in the uber-luxury Indian wedding market. Weddings in India are a recession-proof business and the increased focus on high quality, hygienic food and formal organised vendors will strengthen Foodlink immensely.”
About the Indian food services market
The Indian food services market was about US$ 60 bn in FY19 and is expected to reach US$ 85 bn by FY 24. India witnesses 10-12 Mn wedding ceremonies (on average) a year which drives the wedding market (around US$ 42 bn). Of this, banqueting and catering constitute 65% of total spends (nearly US$ 26 Bn). In addition, the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) market adds another US$ 3.5 bn in size.
The Indian restaurant industry was also around US$ 60 bn in size in FY20. 90% of these restaurants cater to casual diners in the mass market. In addition, nearly 5,000 cloud kitchens (~US$ 400 Mn cumulative revenue) are now serving customers through the thriving food-tech platforms and delivery solutions. Foodlink operates entirely in the casual dining and cloud kitchen space in India and UAE.
UAE foodservice market too is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.22% by 2026 due to increasing disposable income, rising tourist arrivals, increasing urban lifestyles, and evolving consumer preferences.
Founded in 2003 by Sanjay Vazirani, Foodlink F&B Holdings India Pvt. Ltd. is India’s largest luxury banquets and catering brand with over two decades of proven track record. It also owns and operates casual dining restaurant brands such as India Bistro, China Bistro, Glocal Junction & Art of Dum. It is registered as Foodlink Global Restaurants & Catering Services LLC in UAE.
To grow its banqueting vertical, the company is now focussed on leveraging its brand by partnering with investors who will put up “build to spec” facilities – an asset light approach with low capex (< 20% of project cost) with a revenue sharing model. The company plans to increase its banqueting facilities from 2 (Mumbai and Ahmedabad) currently, to 6 (new facilities in Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Delhi & Jaipur), as and when markets open up over the next 2 years.
About OAKS Asset Management
OAKS Asset Management ( www.OaksAMC.com ) is a prominent Indian consumer focused private equity fund. The team has built a track record of successfully backing experienced entrepreneurs who are building some of the largest and most scalable businesses in India. The OAKS Connected Capital® network includes some of the most prominent investors and family offices in India and across the globe. OAKS is often the first external capital in most of their portfolio companies. The team specializes in providing long-term growth capital and is actively involved in working with their portfolio businesses. OAKS is headquartered at Nariman Point, Mumbai and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India
About Plutus Wealth Management LLP
Plutus Wealth Management LLP (Plutus) is a boutique proprietary investment firm which invests in Indian listed and unlisted equities. The investment philosophy is to empower select businesses which have professional management, scalable and differentiated business models. Plutus is committed to executing a sustainable approach for the stewardship of the people and businesses we collaborate with on our journey to increase our economic contribution towards India’s growth.