- UAE and India-based foodtech startup Foodlink, has raised $8 million in its Series B funding round, led by Arpit Khandelwal, the managing partner at Plutus Wealth Management.
- Founded in 2003 by Sanjay Vazirani, Foodlink provides banqueting and catering services for social events. It launched eight new restaurant/cloud kitchen units in Dubai and Sharjah in 2021.
- Foodlink will use these funds to expand its business across new geographies overseas, take its banquet brand JADE Luxury Banquets to new destinations, and scale its casual dining restaurant business through its brands in the UAE and India.
Foodlink, the market leader of the luxury catering and banqueting space in India and UAE, has raised $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 its casual dining restaurant business through its brands India Bistro, China Bistro & Art of Dum in UAE and India.
The company has so far raised $23 million including the current round. It received $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, the USA, and the Asia Pacific. It is patronised 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 a 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 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 its 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 organised 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 organising 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 has 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 formally organised vendors will strengthen Foodlink immensely.”
The Indian food services market was about $60 billion in FY19 and is expected to reach $85 billion by FY24. India witnesses 10-12 million wedding ceremonies (on average) a year which drives the wedding market (around $42 billion). Of this, banqueting and catering constitute 65 per cent of total spending (nearly $26 billion). In addition, the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) market adds another $3.5 billion in size.
The Indian restaurant industry was also around $60 billion in size in FY20. 90 per cent of these restaurants cater to casual diners in the mass market. In addition, nearly 5,000 cloud kitchens ($400 million cumulative revenue) are now serving customers through thriving food-tech platforms and delivery solutions. Foodlink operates entirely in the casual dining and cloud kitchen space in India and UAE.
The UAE foodservice market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.22 per cent by 2026 due to increasing disposable income, rising tourist arrivals, increasing urban lifestyles, and evolving consumer preferences.