INDIA – Curefoods, one of the fastest growing cloud kitchen startups in India, has merged with rival Maverix whose backers include Accel Partners, Swiggy and Zephyr. 

Mumbai-based Maverix owns three popular cloud kitchen brands and operates over 50 outlets across Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.  

Its brands include Great Indian Khichdi – one of India’s largest khichdi brands, Canteen Central – a multi-cuisine quick snack brand and Home Plate – an affordable home food offering. 

Following the merger, all these brands and stores will be absorbed into Curefoods, making it one of the largest cloud kitchen players in the country. 

People familiar with the deal revealed that after the transaction, the Bengaluru-based startup will be valued at about Rs 2,100 crore (US$280 million). 

Ankit Nagori, founder at Curefoods said: “Maverix is one such company with significant experience and market know-how and has also created stellar food brands that are recognized and loved in key markets.  

Together, we now have the largest manufacturing capability in the fresh food space. We are confident that our combined growth and stronger-than-ever platform will numerously benefit our consumers on their quest for the best food options in India.” 

Maverix co-founders Shripad Nadkarni and Shree Bharambe take up key roles at Curefoods, according to a statement from Curefoods. 

Earlier this month, Curefoods had raised $62 million, from Iron Pillar, Chiratae Ventures, Sixteenth Street Capital, Accel Partners and Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal.  

It is in talks to raise another $50-75 million, which may close in the next few months, as it looks to bolster its brand portfolio, sources cited earlier said.  

Delivery-only business thrive in India

Delivery-only businesses—technically brand names—have ballooned in the past 18-24 months as they’ve emerged as a cost-efficient way to maintain business continuity and expand customer reach in an industry that was decimated by Covid-19. 

Q-commerce where delivery of orders is done under 30 minutes has become especially popular with startups like Blinkit, Swiggy’s Instamart, Reliance Retail-backed Dunzo, and Zepto venturing into the space. 

Funding has also been flowing into these startups as investors seek to have a slice of the thriving and rapidly expanding e-commerce segment. 

Indian retail giant Reliance Retail recently invested US$200 million into Dunzo for a 25% stake in the Q-commerce company. 

The investment will add to Reliance’s omnichannel capabilities and also help facilitate last-mile deliveries for JioMart’s merchant network.    

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