Bengaluru: Online food ordering start-up Foodvista India Pvt. Ltd, which operates FreshMenu and counts the likes of Lightspeed Venture Partners and Zodius Capital as investors, is in talks to raise $25-30 million from new and existing investors, according to three people directly aware of the talks. As part of the latest talks, FreshMenu has held discussions with a Russian fund and Chinese investors, the people mentioned above said. All three of them requested anonymity.

Mint could not immediately ascertain the names of the new investors. FreshMenu’s existing investors, including Zodius and Lightspeed may participate in this round, the people mentioned above said.

FreshMenu is expected to use the funds to rapidly ramp up its service, especially infrastructure and technology, as well as hire more people, the first person mentioned above said.

Founded by Rashmi Daga, FreshMenu first raised $5 million in a Series A funding round of funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners in early 2015, followed by a $17-million round in 2016 that was led by Zodius.

The last round valued FreshMenu at roughly $40-$50 million.

Bengaluru-based FreshMenu did not respond to an email seeking comment.

FreshMenu’s latest funding negotiations come at a time when the Indian start-up ecosystem is witnessing a remarkable boom in fund-raising, following a spell of nearly two years when funding virtually dried up, after the 2014-15 funding bubble burst and valuations of several leading start-ups, including Snapdeal, crashed overnight.

This year alone has witnessed the creation of three new “unicorn" start-ups, or ventures that are valued at $1 billion or more.

Moreover, it comes at a time when the food business, which includes food delivery, has witnessed a tremendous upsurge in investor interest, after a period when it was virtually written off.

India’s largest food delivery service Swiggy raised $210 million in July, while its rival Zomato is in talks to raise further funds, after a fundraise of $200 million in February.

Cab-hailing services Ola and its arch-rival Uber are also investing hundreds of crores of rupees to gain a slice of the food delivery market.

Ola has also held talks to buy private label food companies following its purchase of food ordering app Foodpanda, as the cab hailing firm explores creating an independent food technology company, Mint reported in April.

Ola had approached FreshMenu for a buyout but the latter chose not to pursue a sale as it was confident of raising fresh capital, the people cited above said.

Earlier in July, food tech start-up HungerBox raised $4.5 million in a Series A funding round led by South Korean investment firm Neoplux and India’s private equity fund Sabre Partners.

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