Let us talk about the restaurant industry of the country and the funding related to it. The restaurant industry saw a massive decline in its operations because of the COVID 19 lockdown. It was one of the most suffered industries during the pandemic. The foodservice industry saw a drop of around 53% in FY 2021 compared to FY 2020, according to the reports of NRAI, which is a representation of 5 lakh restaurants.
The financial year 2021 also saw more than 25% of restaurants closing, thus leading to the loss of jobs of almost 24 lakh people around the country. In FY 2021, the value of the restaurant industry out to be INR 2 lakh crore, whereas, in FY 2020, the restaurant industry was of the value INR 4.2 lakh crore, thus showing a decrease in the valuation of the sector.
The country’s restaurant industry is a huge source of employment and opens up job opportunities to almost 73 lakh people. The Indian food industry segment is divided into two sectors, the one being Organized Sector which is worth INR 148,353 crore, and the other being Unorganized Sector, which is worth INR 2,75,512 crore.
Some of the attractive trends in the foodservice industry are as follows-
Product Sustainability- Customers are getting more aware and prefer organic, low-carbon, free of artificial fertilizers food. They now know the relationship between food, health, and the environment.
Cloud Kitchen: This model has been increasing. It is a takeaway outlet, and there is no dine-in facility. With the COVID 19 outbreak, people prefer only deliveries. So, the restaurants are shifting from the traditional and regular dine-in to the cloud kitchen model.
Packaging and Waste: Customers now prefer sustainable and healthy products. Edible packaging, micro packaging, and various other forms of packaging are being used at a great rate.
The Indian Restaurant industry has more than 1.5 million eating outlets, out of which 3,000 outlets are from the organized segment.
The food industry of India is expected to reach 9.2 million in 2022-2023, and the size of the food industry will reach INR 5 lakh crore by the year 2025. Let us now discuss the exciting funding of a restaurant startup that took place recently.
Announcement of funding of a restaurant startup
The Restaurant PoS (Point of Sale) startup, Petpooja, has raised a funding of USD 4.5 million, as announced on November 15, 2021. This round of funding was the Series B round of funding and was led by Aroa Ventures, which Bhavish Aggarwal leads. The other participants of this round of financing were GVFL, Udaan, and Dr Mayur Desai. Some angel investors even took part in this round of funding.
The startup plans to use the funds raised in expansion to reach the Middle East and Africa regions. The startup plans to expand its Supplier’s hub. Supplier’s hub allows the customers on the startup platform to come and band together for vast and bulk purchases of ingredients and pieces of equipment. Last year, a unicorn startup, Udaan, had also invested in this startup.
About the newly funded restaurant startup
The startup, PetPooja, was founded in the year 2011 by Apurv Patel and Parthiv Patel. The startup was started as a simple PoS billing solution for restaurants. But with time, it changed and modified and is now a complete restaurant operating system. It is now also engaged in offering modules for inventory management, CRM, and online ordering, among many other providings.
It is on the mission to be the go-to Operating System for all F&B retail across the world. The startup is not just a service provider. It also believes in delivering a product that ensures coherent and sustainable solutions for its restaurant partners.
The product philosophy of the startup lies on the four pillars-
Pricing, Simplicity, Innovation, and Support.
The outlet types provided by the startup are-
Fine Dine, QSR, Cafe, Food Courts and Canteens, Cloud Kitchens, Ice Cream and Dessert Shops, Bakery, Bar and Brewery, Pizzeria or Pizza Shop, and Large Chains.
Talking about the startup’s journey, in 2011, when it was founded, it was a food delivery platform for Corporates. It was like Swiggy or Zomato, but for the bulk corporate orders. With this business model, the startup achieved its first mark two years after, which was- it had served 200 corporates by being in partnership with more than 300 restaurants.
But the startup then realized that because of the lack of appropriate technology, there were many operational inefficiencies and the restaurant processes were not scalable. On closely looking and observing the daily struggles of the restaurant, Petpooja was created what it is now, a coherent Restaurant Management Software.
The startup currently has more than 25000 restaurant outlets across India, UAE, and Africa. It has been lodging more than 1.5 million orders daily and has an annual GMV of USD 2.5 billion. The big names in its client list include- La Pino’s, Giani’s, Thalappakatti, and many others. The startup’s competitors are POSist, a Delhi-based startup, and Lime-Tray, based out of Gurugram.
What has been said about the deal?
Parthiv Patel, the co-founder of the startup, Petpooja, commented that the foodservice had been the most digitized market with more than 100 B2C players like delivery aggregators, dine-in ordering, online ordering, table reservation, loyalty, payments, ERP, and many others. He further said that the startup has more than 100 integrations that allow restaurateurs to manage and interact with players from one screen.
Gaurav Gulati, the head and CIO of Aroa Ventures, said that the food service is finally getting back on track after COVID 19 and lockdown. He said that with changing times, people are making full use of products like Petpooja. He said that the organization had complete faith in the vision and the mission of the startup to transform operations of the restaurant through digital means and bring in profits for the owners of the restaurants.
The startup has something different and refreshing to offer. We wish the startup a stroke of good luck and a bright future ahead.
Article Proofread and Edited by Shreedatri Banerjee