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Rebel Foods Embraces Indian Unicorn Status with a Series F Round Raised $ 175 Million

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Rebel Foods joined the Indian unicorn club, with a massive network of dark kitchens in almost a dozen regions and announced that it had raised $175 million in its Series F funding round, valuing it at $1.4 billion, up from $800 million last year.

The fundraising round was led by the Qatar Investment Authority, the state's sovereign wealth fund, with existing investors Coatue and Evolvence joining in. Sequoia Capital India and Goldman Sachs are additional investors in Rebel Foods.

Rebel Foods has the most ‘online restaurants’ in the world, with locations in ten countries including the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Over 45 brands, including some owned by Rebel Foods and others from partner companies including Wendy's and Mad Over Donuts, produce meals solely for delivery rather than for dine-in or takeaway customers. According to the company, it has approximately 4,000 of these internet restaurants.

With annualized sales of $150 million, up 100 percent year on year, the company said it was progressively moving towards profitability. The surge was attributed to brick-and-mortar restaurants scaling up utilizing cost-effective cloud kitchens.

The new funds will be used to grow the startup's international footprint and to look into acquisition prospects, according to the company and It also plans to go public in two years. The current yearly run-rate for Rebel Foods is $150 million

Dark kitchens, also known as ghost and cloud kitchens, are designed to make food service operations more cost-effective. Setting up and running a restaurant is costly as they are, after all, real estate. Setting up cloud kitchens enables partner restaurants and brands to move away from costly retail sites while also streamlining operations by allowing them to focus solely on food production.

The cloud kitchen approach, according to many investors, is also critical for food delivery companies, restaurants, and brands to access a bigger market. In many emerging nations, such as India, the average ticket size for a lunch or dinner order is $3 to $5, making conventional business models unprofitable.

This could explain why Swiggy and Zomato, India's two largest food delivery companies, have made multiple attempts to set up their own cloud kitchens.

The new funds will be used to grow the startup's international footprint and to look into acquisition prospects, according to the company and It also plans to go public in two years. The current yearly run-rate for Rebel Foods is $150 million.

In recent months, the cloud kitchen sector in India has experienced increased deal activity. Wow! Momo Foods recently raised $17 million and plans to go public in the near future. In August, Ankit Nagori's Curefoods secured $13 million from Iron Pillar to purchase and launch internet-first companies.

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