Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Some early backers of Wonderchef mull exits

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI : Some of the early backers of Wonderchef Home Appliances Pvt. Ltd are exploring an exit from the kitchen appliances and cookware brand, three people familiar with the matter said.

Boutique investment bank o3 Capital has been tasked to scout for buyers on behalf of some of these early backers, which include angel investors, the people cited above said requesting anonymity.

These investors are seeking a valuation of more than 1,200 crore for the Mumbai-based company, the people added.

The identity of the investors could not be ascertained.

Co-founded by Ravi Saxena (former head of Sodexo India) and celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor in 2009, Wonderchef is backed by institutions such as French winemaker Labruyère Eberlé, mid-market private-equity firm Amicus Capital, consumer-focussed venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures, Godrej Family office and real estate-focussed Malpani Group, among others.

Several individual angel investors are also among the backers.

When contacted, a company spokesperson said “no such developments are happening".

Wonderchef posted a net loss of 10 crore in FY22—its first annual loss in a decade—compared to a net profit of 38.6 lakh in FY21. The company, however, reported 20% growth in net sales at 266.9 crore in the last financial year.

Wonderchef was earlier envisaging a revenue of 400 crore by FY22, Saxena said in an interview with the Press Trust of India on 11 September, 2021.

The company had raised 150 crore in its last equity round led by Sixth Sense Ventures in November 2021. At the time, Mauritius-based investor Capvent exited.

Kapoor has a fee and royalty arrangement for promoting the brand. Wonderchef sells kitchen appliances like non-stick cookware, cold-press juicers, cooktops, ovens, bakeware, mixer grinders, air-fryers and toasters.

Wonderchef competes with the likes of home appliances brand Lifelong Online Retail Pvt. Ltd, controlled by US’s Thrasio Holdings, Inc. Thrasio aims to acquire digital-first brands through Lifelong.

Wonderchef forayed into the premium homeware category earlier this year. The company sells homeware products such as tableware, barware, cutlery, glasses, linen, serveware, and dinnerware.

It entered the appliances rental economy in September, wherein the company would offer kitchen appliances for rent for 5% of the cost of the product, Saxena said in an interview with The Financial Express some time ago.

The broader kitchen appliances category has seen several deals in recent years. Last week, consumer electrical and electronics maker V-Guard Industries (V-Guard) acquired Sunflame Enterprises Pvt. Ltd for 660 crore.

Earlier this year, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals purchased a 55% stake in Butterfly Gandhimathi Appliances (Butterfly) for around 1,380 crore.

With more than 600 products, Wonderchef claims to have a pan-India presence with a robust omnichannel distribution. The company has 25 exclusive brand outlets and is also sold in more than 12,000 retail outlets. The brand is also available in about 25 countries across five continents.The company also sells its products through more than 70,000 self-employed women entrepreneurs.

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