INDIA – Rakyan Beverages Pvt. Ltd, the maker of organic cold-pressed juices and other beverages sold under the brand RAW Pressery, has raised around $6 million (Rs40 crore) to fund expansion.

The capital was raised entirely from its existing venture capital investors Sequoia Capital, Saama Capital and DSG Consumer Partners.

RAW Pressery had last raised $4.5 million from these investors in February 2016.

RAW Pressery, started in 2013 by Anuj Rakyan, plans to use the funds to expand its manufacturing capacity and distribution reach for new product launches, Rakyan said in an interview.

“The company has grown 120% since last year, on the back of greater distribution (reach) and acquiring more accounts.

Geographically, we are now in 15 cities in India and we are also available in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. We have just forayed over there. In India, we are available at 1,600 points of sale,” said Rakyan.

On the product side, the company has, in the last 12 months, grown beyond juices to selling smoothies, almond milk and coconut water. It recently started selling ready-to-consume soup.

“Keeping up with this expansion is what we needed to raise the new round for.

A large part of the proceeds—around 40-50%—are going to go for capital expenditure, to increase our production capacity for keeping up with this expansion.

Our current capacity is close to 350,000 litres a month, we will be taking this up to a range of about 550,000-600,000 litres per month,” said Rakyan.

Funds will also be used for capital expenditure in the company’s cold chain logistics infrastructure as well as for other operating expenses such as expanding headcount and for marketing.

The funding will also help RAW Pressery with its plans to expand into the West Asia market, specifically in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

“We have recently forayed there and right now are shipping our products from here. We are establishing our distribution presence, learning what products and price points will work.

After February-March, we will look at setting up a manufacturing unit there to help push our expansion in UAE and Saudi,” said Rakyan.

India will continue to remain the primary focus market, Rakyan said, adding that the UAE and Saudi were collectively around four times bigger than the Indian market.

RAW Pressery also plans to add new products in each of the five categories that it is in currently—juices, soups, smoothies, nut milk and hydration (coconut water, lemonade). The company also plans to launch dairy products.

“Most of the new product launches in the next six months will be within these five categories. For example, in Hydration, we want to introduce water that will be functional water, not flavoured. Post these, we will enter the dairy category,” said Rakyan.

While the focus right now is building out its beverage portfolio, the firm has also been working on products in the food space and hopes to expand into this category sometime next year or after.

“You will see us expand in fresh food. Our products are already ready and definitely in 2018 or 2019 you will see something coming out in that segment,” said Rakyan.

Live Mint