Mumbai-based online restaurant chain Rebel Foods that recently landed a deal to launch 250 cloud kitchens of American quick-service eatery, The Wendy’s Company in India, has brought a 14% stake in hyperlocal startup FoodyBuddy.
FoodBuddy is an online marketplace of home-chefs that allows its users to sell and buy home-cooked meals in their vicinity.
According to regulatory filings, Rebel Foods has pumped in USD 679,000 (INR 50 million) in FoodBuddy, which brings its total stake in the latter to 26%, a report by local media Entrackr said.
The cloud kitchen chain first picked up a 12% stake in FoodBuddy in April to tap its network of about 1,000 home cooks to venture into the niche vertical of home-cooked meals. This was the time when a majority of restaurants had shut shops and people weren’t buying food from eateries as they were extra cautious about hygiene.
The country was under the two-month-long lockdown beginning late March and the food business had nosedived by almost 80-90%. However, Rebel was able to raise USD 50 million from New York-based Coatue Management.
The company saw its valuation jump from USD 700 million in April to USD 820 million in July. In the ensuing months, as the demand for food delivery picked up gradually with people opting to order in rather than going out, the cloud kitchen business came back on track. Furthermore, as millions of millennials remained at home for the better part of the year, home-cooked meals became sought after, giving a leg-up to this niche vertical.
Over the last few years, Rebel Foods has emerged as the leader in the cloud kitchen space in India. The five-year-old company runs a network of 3,000-plus restaurants across four countries. It is present in India, UAE, Indonesia, and the UK and owns over 15 food brands. While it has its own app, it also works with food ordering and delivery giants Swiggy and Zomato that generates a majority of its demand.