INDIA – Quick service restaurant operator Wow! Momo Foods has raised US$23 million (RS 163 crore) in series B funding led by New York-based private equity major Tiger Global to enable the operator scale up its operations.

The investment now puts the valuation of Wow! Momo at Rs 860 crore (US$120 million), one of the highest among QSR chains in the country, according to an ET Retail report.

The QSR chain operates in two brands of restaurants, Wow Momo and Wow!China, in over 15 cities across India. The startup launched Wow! China in March 2019 and manages 11 outlets under the brand in addition to 282 outlets under Wow! Momo.

Speaking on the investment, Sagar Daryani, CEO & co-founder of Wow! China/Wow! Momo, said, “We are super excited and thankful in welcoming Tiger Global on board and looking forward to leverage upon their global connects, experience and knowhow.”

He pointed out that this partnership is a big step forward in its endeavour to become an Indian origin QSR chain with an aim to go global in times to come.

“We will smartly use the capital infused to further scale our operations backed with disruptive research and development (R&D) to reach out to a larger consumer base within the country.

“We are extremely grateful to Lighthouse Funds and IAN for backing us over the years and being super-supportive to our vision,” Daryani added.

The fast food chain operator is now looking to build a hybrid operating model through a mix of physical stores in prominent retail locations and cloud kitchens to cater to the growing delivery business.

Wow! Momo Foods said it is currently clocking a monthly run rate of over Rs15 crore (US$ 2.11 million) and opening over 10 new stores every month. The company expects the trend to catapult its revenues to Rs190 crore ($26.69m) in FY20.

“I am extremely confident that with our expertise backed by a strong leadership team at the helm, Wow! Momo is all set to become the face of Indian QSR on a global diaspora,” Scott Shleifer, partner and head, private equity, Tiger Global Management, said.

While the bulk of Tiger Global’s funding is primary capital for growth, Rs 21 crore (US$3 million) will be used for providing a partial exit to the Indian Angel Network (IAN), an early investor in the company.