Packaged foods start-up Soulfull raises Rs35 crore from Aavishkaar Bharat Fund
Mumbai: Kottaram Agro Foods, a Bengaluru-based packaged foods start-up that markets its products under the brand ‘Soulfull’, has raised Rs35 crore (approximately $5.3 million) from Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, an impact investment fund of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group.
Founded in 2011, Kottaram Agro Foods works with state governments and research institutions which cater to the increasing number of Indians who are shifting to more healthy lifestyles.
The company processes Ragi (finger millet) into various breakfast and snack options such as flakes, Ragi bites, muesli and ready-to-cook oat-millet meals. Soulfull is also launching Smoothix, a healthy drink made out of 12 natural grains, marking its entry into the beverages category.
“There are immense opportunities in the packaged foods industry in India which is growing rapidly at 20-25%. The partnership with Aavishkaar will help Soulfull strengthen its product portfolio, accelerate marketing and expand its distribution reach to over 50,000 retail outlets in the next three years,” said Prashant Parameswaran, managing director and chief executive of Kottaram Agro Foods.
In November 2017, Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, which is a $200 million fund, made its first close of $95 million. The fund typically invests in mid to early stage companies in sectors like healthcare, education, agriculture, clean technology and financial inclusion. The impact investment firm is also planning to launch its seventh fund of $150 million to invest in Africa.
“The tangential outcome of Soulfull products is increase in demand of ancient grains that will address problems of marginal Indian farmers and reduce environmental stresses on land since these grains can grow in arid areas, are pest resistant and need minimal fertilizers,” said Vineet Rai, managing director of Aavishkaar.