Ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is showing interest in the Indian Startup Ecosystem. He has recently invested in Rebel Foods, which is the world’s largest shared-kitchen company. According to TechCrunch, Rebel Foods started as a kebab restaurants chain called Faasos, which is now just one of eight other brands that Rebel operates, including a tea brand called Kettle & Kegs; a Chinese concept called Mandarin Oak; a pizza brand called Oven Story; and a brand called Behrouz, through which Rebel makes and sells slow-cooked biryani rice dishes.
In the growing and transforming Indian startup ecosystem, there have been numerous new segments that have emerged. One of those new segments is the concept of cloud kitchen. A cloud kitchen is a restaurant that has no physical space and no dine-in or takeaway facility as it does not exist as a restaurant of any sort. It relies entirely on third-party integrations or home delivery orders placed on call or through a website. Although Rebel Foods is the largest player in the field, there are other able competitors who have just not entered the field yet. However, they have huge potential especially with their massive consumer base and deep pockets such as Swiggy, Zomato, FoodPanda and even UberEats.
In a recent funding round, Rebel Foods raised an impressive $125 million from the investors that counted the likes of US-based hedge fund Coatue Management, Goldman Sachs, Sequoia Capital and Indonesia’s Go-Jek. However, one of the investors was Travis Kalanick too. The funding round valued the company at $525 million according to a Moneycontrol report. Travis invested an undisclosed amount in Rebel Foods through his real estate company City Storage Systems (CSS) according to the Moneycontrol report citing Bloomberg.
Rebel Foods is currently operating out of 22 cities in India with 205 delivery cloud kitchens. This is a market that is mostly untouched by the bigger players. However, that is soon going to change with the advent of the players such as Swiggy and Zomato. It is important to know that both these companies are some of the largest Unicorns in the Indian startup sector with over $5 billion valuations each. Both companies have really deep pockets and cash to burn if they want to enter the market in any way. Moreover, their huge consumer base will play in their favour any day.