MasterChow, a ready-to-cook Asian cuisine brand, has raised Rs 3.5 crore ($462,000) in a seed round led by WEH Ventures. The round also saw participation from prominent angel investors such as Aditya Singh and Ravi Shroff. The startup plans to utilise the raised funds to double down on its manufacturing capabilities, product development, hiring new talent and geographic expansion plans.
Founded in June 2020 by Vidur Kataria and Sidhanth Madan, MasterChow is focused on solving daily woes for two broad categories of demographics. For millennials aged between 25-44 years who are leading fast paced lives, are crunched for time and are looking to experiment with world cuisines, MasterChow is their one-stop solution for both health and taste.
The second group is larger joint households preparing comfort meals for different generations, looking to make a shift from the conventional ghar ka khana, yet wanting to keep the health and hygiene quotient high on the plate.
Sidhanth Madan, cofounder, MasterChow said ”We want to be the disruptor brand in the $3 billion ready-to-cook category specifically focusing on the Asian sauce and condiment market. The covid-19 pandemic has created a shift in consumer preferences for better quality products and for transparency with ingredient sourcing, which has been a great propeller for us.”
Madan further added, “With the current fundraise, we plan to enter new categories while increasing current manufacturing capabilities and go deeper with our online footprint”.
Rohit Krishna, General Partner, WEH Ventures said “Indians love Chinese & other Asian cuisines, however the reason people don’t venture to cook this at home regularly is because of the lack of high quality ingredients available in the market. We believe they’ll end up leading the RTC market for this segment in the next 3-5 years.”
The brand since inception has been able to serve over three lakh families. It has also witnessed strong traction in tier 1 and tier 2 cities with revenue growing over 10x in the last twelve months, said the company. Currently, the brand is shipping to 17,000 pincodes (2800 cities) in India. Their products are currently available on online marketplaces like Amazon, BigBasket, Grofers, Instamart, and offline stores such as Modern Bazaar, etc.
The D2C startup has a team size of 25 members, including the corporate and operations teams, and is planning to double the size of its corporate team over the next 12 months..
Deepak Gupta, General Partner, WEH Ventures said “Vidur and Sidhanth have spent the time building a well-loved Asian restaurant brand and bring a lot of insights and skills to the table. They truly embody the founder-market fit as they enable thousands of people to create restaurant quality Asian food easily at home.”
According to the ‘India Ready-To-Eat Food Market By Segment opportunities report’, the ready-to-cook market has been estimated to grow at a CAGR of more than 16 per cent during 2018-2023 and it is projected to rise to $647 million by 2023.