Indian B2B food tech startup HungerBox raises $12M from Paytm and others


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HungerBox, an Indian food tech startup that has courted 10 of the 11 largest companies in the country to use its services, today announced it has raised $12 million from Paytm and others as it looks to sign clients in Southeast Asia.

The three-year-old startup’s new financing round, a Series C, was funded by a consortium of Indian and international investors, including payments firm Paytm and NPTK, an Asian VC fund that invests in emerging firms. Existing investors Sabre Partners and Neoplux also participated in the round, which pushes the Bangalore-based startup’s to-date raise to $16.5 million.

HungerBox offers management services to companies and institutions to improve and run their in-house cafeterias and canteens. HungerBox also enables its clients to connect with food partners through an app and get real-time updates of their order.

The startup, which also provides these firms with a point-of-sale machine, helps them get better insight into the quality of food being catered to their employees, and enables scheduled delivery and tracking of orders to address the long queues, said Sandipan Mitra, co-founder and chief executive of HungerBox, in an interview with TechCrunch.

“We all talk about the food delivery to consumers, but not many are looking to improve the quality of food and how it is being catered to tens of millions of employees in the country each day,” he said. “It’s a challenge that has not been addressed well.”

It turns out, when a startup finally looked into the space, many quickly jumped to appreciate it. HungerBox has amassed more than 126 large businesses and institutions — with more than 100,000 workforce each, across 18 Indian cities, said Mitra. Food delivery startups Swiggy and Zomato have started to explore this space, too, in recent quarters.

HungerBox is processing 560,000 orders each day, a figure that is growing 10% every month, claimed Mitra. The startup’s solutions are today employed at more than 535 cafeterias for its clients that work in IT / technology, retail, healthcare, aviation, education, financial services and manufacturing, he said. He declined to reveal the name of the clients, citing confidential agreements.

Annual food sales on the HungerBox platform have exceeded $100 million, he said.

The startup, which employs 1,500 people, will use the fresh capital to fuel its expansion in 10 additional Indian cities and to markets in Southeast Asia, said Mitra.

In a statement, Madhur Deora, president of Paytm, said HungerBox has enabled Paytm to add new use cases for the company’s payments business and digitization of offline transactions.

“HungerBox is the market leader in the institutional food tech space and we will partner closely with them and bring the benefits of Paytm’s ecosystem to HungerBox,” he said.

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