Home / Companies / News /  Coffee brand Sleepy Owl bags $6.5 million in series A funding

NEW DELHI: Packaged coffee brand Sleepy Owl has raised $6.5 million in a series A funding round led by existing investor Rukam Capital and Consumer Partners.

The funding will be used to expand the core team of the direct-to-consumer brand founded in 2016. The company will also widen the brand’s distribution network across India, and firm up its marketing initiatives.

Founded in 2016, Sleepy Owl sells cold brew packs, hot brew bags, ready-to-drink cold brew bottles, ground coffee, brew box suites for in-home and on-the-go consumption. The company was co-founded by Ajai Thandi, Arman Sood, and Ashwajeet Singh.

The brand, started online, has since its inception moved to large format modern trade stores to initiate consumer trials.

Internet-first brands have found favour among consumers and investors as they fill a vacuum within the mid-to-premium packaged foods, and the beauty and personal care market.

The pandemic has also ushered in demand for products that can replicate out-of-home food and beverage experiences in home.

Ajai Thandi, co-founder, Sleepy Owl said the pandemic helped the company re-prioritize.

“We were agile and quick on problem-solving, and were able to get back on track with higher numbers…we plan to utilize the funds to go deeper into our existing retail markets across India and add as we grow," Thandi said.

India’s coffee market is dominated by large brands such as Nestle, ITC Ltd., and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. These companies sell coffee in the powdered format that is meant for easy preparation. However, as consumers seek better experiences, they are willing to pay for formats that are distinct from what is already available in the market.

Archana Jahagirdar, Rukam Capital’s Managing Partner said the funding will help the brand’s pan-India presence.

“With this investment, we are confident that Sleepy Owl will get the required impetus to further scale up its business and expand operations. The brand has a huge potential of being amongst the fastest growing formats within the coffee business category," Jahagirdar said.

Sleepy Owl has also expanded its product portfolio from cold brew to hot brew bags, drip coffee formats, ready-to-drink formats, flavoured ground coffee; it recently launched a subscription service.


Suneera Tandon

Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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