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Gourmet Garden raises pre-series A funding from Incubate Fund India and Whiteboard Capital

Gourmet Garden raises pre-series A funding from Incubate Fund India and Whiteboard Capital

Plugging the gap for truly high quality, zero-contamination veggies, fruits and food essentials

Gourmet Garden, the first full-range zero-contamination F&V brand in the country, has raised (an undisclosed amount in) pre-series A funding from Incubate Fund India and Whiteboard Capital.

Gourmet Garden provides zero-contamination veggies and fruits with a promise of “distinctly and consistently better” owing to their patented Naturoponic farming approaches and localised 2-touch supply chain. Already a leading brand in Bangalore, the startup is founded by Arjun Balaji, erstwhile a Partner at McKinsey and Company, and Vishal Narayanaswamy who launched among the first hydroponic farms in India.

Mr Arjun Balaji, Co-founder and Director, Gourmet Garden said, “F&V is the single largest consumer spend area in the country but quality of supply has always been challenged. There are massive need gaps around a) traceable zero-contamination produce, b) true freshness and better tastes, and c) consistent and convenient all-year supply. Given the delicate and perishable nature of veggies, we realised that consistently high quality and safety cannot be delivered through just better sourcing from farmers. It requires farming approaches that yield significantly higher source quality, and an F&V centric supply ops that is radically lean and JIT”.

“Our patented Naturoponic farming approach is the most capital and carbon efficient among other similar models. Veggies are grown with great care in protected soil-less environments, using filtered water and non-GMO seeds. Produce is only harvested against customer orders, safely packed in bio-degradable options, and shipped to consumers within hours of harvest. The net result is veggies are fundamentally tastier and crunchier while being natural and fully safe. In addition, our organic range helps complete the essentials shopping basket, where unlike other alternatives which have gone through 8-10 touches and 1-2 weeks since harvest, our source quality interventions coupled with a 2-day, 2-touch supply ops helps us stand out in quality” commented Mr. Vishal Narayanaswamy, Co-founder, Gourmet Garden.

About 16,000 households are already customers of Gourmet Garden in Bangalore. Over 70% orders every month come from repeat customers, a testimony to their loyalty-building quality. About a dozen highly curated farm partners are already on board and they follow the approach and ethos of Gourmet Garden zero-contamination farming.

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Nao Murakami, founder & general partner at Incubate Fund India says, “Gourmet Garden’s approach is very much beneficial to both sides of the supply chain, consumer and farmers. Indian consumers are rapidly becoming more conscious about the quality and safety of food but there are no trusted home-grown F&V brands available in India. At the same time, Indian farmers are mostly very small and many important elements of their business such as access to market, technology implementation, advanced farming methodologies, etc, are missing. Gourmet Garden is solving this problem by creating a trusted brand on the back of their tech-enabled advanced farming and supply ops disruptions”

“Gourmet Garden plugs into a very important consumer need, specially in the post-Covid world, where quality and traceability of fresh produce isn’t a luxury any more. As investors since inception, we have been extremely impressed with the mission-driven nature and customer-centricity of Arjun and Vishal. We are excited as the company is seen as a destination for high-quality fresh produce across geographies and has continuously expanded its offerings over the months” said Anshu Prasher, General Partner, Whiteboard Capital

Their future focus will be about expanding supply and GTM partnerships, boosting tech and automation, and bringing on-boarding high calibre talent as they go deeper in Bangalore, expand in Chennai, and launch in Mumbai and Delhi in the coming year.

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