Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Maker of Epigamia yogurt gets fresh funding from Danone’s investment arm

The investment was led by Drum's existing investorBelgium-based consumer investment firm Verlinvest along with Singapore-based fund DSG Consumer Partners, Temasek-backed InnoVen Capital, and Cipla's Samina Vaziralli.

New Delhi: Mumbai-based food startup Drums Food International that sells the popular brand of Epigamia yogurts has raised 182 crore in a Series C round of funding from Danone Manifesto Ventures, the investment arm of the French dairy major, and other existing investors, the company said in an announcement on Wednesday.

The investment was led by Drum’s existing investor—Belgium-based consumer investment firm Verlinvest along with Singapore-based fund DSG Consumer Partners, Temasek-backed InnoVen Capital, and Cipla’s Samina Vaziralli. The funding in Drums—that sells artisanal greek yogurt, mishti doi, and packaged smoothies in over 10,000 stores in India—marks a growing investor appetite in new-age startups that are capitalising on the consumer shift to on-the-go and fresh foods.

The investment also marks the first such Asia-focused funding for Danone that exited its dairy business in India in January last year in a bid to build a bigger portfolio of nutritional products here. Epigamia’s products, said Laurent Marcel, director, Danone Manifesto Ventures, “appeal to the ever-growing number of Indian consumers looking for healthier options."

Meanwhile, Drums Food, will now use the money to fund its expansion.

Over the next two years, the company plans to ramp up distribution to 50,000 outlets in over 25 cities, Rohan Mirchandani, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer told Mint. Mirchandani said the company is also exploring manufacturing tie-ups in southern India as it plans to expand beyond the top five cities that contribute to the bulk of its sales.

Going forward, however, Epigamia’s product portfolio could vary from the existing yogurt and smoothies it sells. Mirchandani indicated that the company could launch plant-based beverages in the future.

Drums Food was founded in 2008 by former Wharton alumni Rohan Mirchandani, chef Ganesh Krishnamurthy, Rahul Jain, and Uday Thakkar.

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