INDIA – Ready-to-cook (RTC) food brand Fingerlix has raised Rs 45 crore (US$6.9 million) in its third institutional round of funding from Accel Partners.

Existing investor Zephyr Peacock also participated in this round. With this, the total capital raised by the Mumbai-based company stands at Rs 63 crore (US$97.7 million).

Fingerlix will use the capital raised to enter cities beyond Mumbai, Pune and NCR where it is currently present.

The company is looking to expand to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai and increase presence in the NCR market.

“We have one kitchen in Mumbai, which covers the supply for Mumbai and Pune, another is coming up in Delhi and we will also have one in the south. Our sense is that the three facilities will cover the volume for all our cities going forward,” said Shree Bharambe, CEO of Fingerlix.

This is part of Fingerlix’s strategy to expand to the top 10 Indian cities and international markets over the long term.

Known for its bets in the consumer internet space including Flipkart, BookMyShow, BlueStone among others, Accel Partners has been increasingly looking at plays in the consumer goods and FMCG space.

“We have been looking at this category (of food) for sometime but for a slightly differentiated play. There are intellectual properties being built at Fingerlix that enable delivery of ready-to-cook foods with longer shelf lives even while maintaining quality and taste.

The underlined product market fit is quite disruptive here as far as we are concerned,” Prashanth Prakash, partner at Accel India, told ET.

Fingerlix will enable artificial intelligence-based solutions to streamline its supply chain and improve its demand forecast to help meet demand of fresh products regularly while cutting down on wastage.

Currently, Fingerlix has about 15 SKUs (stock keeping units) with fresh batter forming just shy of 50% of its revenue pie.

But beyond fresh foods, the firm is also looking to invest some of the capital raised in newer products including recipe-based offerings in several centre-of-plate categories such as snacking where it sees a huge opportunity.

“We expect to be active in the new cities in the next six months. Our Rs 500 crore in reaspiration is to get to venues by 2021. It’s a huge category with a huge opportunity,” said Bharambe.

The company clocks sales of about 6,000 units per day, touching over Rs 12 crore (US$1.8 million) in annual revenues.

ET Retail