DSIM Startup of the Week “Holachef”:

19/08/2016
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How food-tech startup Holachef is growing as a chunk in Online Food Industry?

The Indian food industry is expected to reach $65 billion by 2018 and the market is gaining its momentum in online food order and home delivery at a whopping 40 per cent (CAGR). Billions of dollars are being invested in marketing and promotion by QSR chains to make food an on-demand service. Holachef is one among the many that is trying to make its name in this high evolving food-tech industry.

Holachef founded in September 2014 by Anil Gelra and Saurabh Saxena manages packaging, storage and delivery of the fresh food. It company currently operates in the city of Mumbai and Pune and connects the foodies to chefs to enhance the dining experience of customers right at their home.

Why we chose Holachef as Startup of the Week?

  • 40% of the order comes as pre-booked hours or even days in advance.
  • Food ordering can be done through company’s mobile app or their website.
  • About 65% of the total orders come through the mobile app while the rest came through its website.
  • It has more than 200 chefs working to serve its 40,000+ customers.
  • Holachef serves to an average of 3000 orders per day.
  • Holachef from 2,000 orders per month in 2014 has now grown to over 1 lakh orders per month in 2016.
  • 80% repeat order and 8,000+ visits on website every day.
  • Holachef has raised funding of Rs.35 crores in 2 rounds + undisclosed amount from Mr. Ratan Tata.
  • Most recent funding of $1.95 million (Rs 13 crore) came in July 2016 from Kalaari Capital and India Quotient.
  • The company has attracted more than 13k fans on Facebook, 2k followers on Twitter, around 2k followers on Instagram and more than 3k followers over LinkedIn.

The Idea of Holachef

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Saurabh Saxena and his wife were working professionals and like others, cooking and the kitchen were their main concerns. The maid they had hired for domestic help wasn’t up to the level and often they had to order the food from outside. But they were left with no place offering quality food which remains non-greasy. This way both of them thought of starting Holachef and launched it in September 2014 with Anil Gelra.

How Holachef made an army of over 200 chefs?

With the high demand in Food & Beverage industry, the entry level as well as professional level demand of chefs is huge in the market. Whenever we go for lunch or dinner, we don’t know the chefs who have prepared the food for us. Thus Holachef gives direct exposer to the chefs. Initially getting the chefs on board was a difficult job but once chefs knew that moving to the platform was fruitful, they all came together. Some of the chefs on the board are from The Taj as well as ITC while others are home chefs.

How Holachef succeeded in getting attraction from Ratan?

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Saurabh Saxena while attending an event organized by Kalaari met with Ratan Tata. They both sat for a while and talked about the hospitality sector in India. The talk lasts as long as 45 minutes in which Ratan Tata asked great questions on how they were planning to take the things forward. Later Holachef heard back that Ratan Tata was interested in investing in the company.

Future of Holachef

Holachef is as much about food as it is about technology. Technology plays an equal role in getting the demand and complete the delivery in a better way.

Holachef has raised funding of INR 35 crores in 2 rounds + undisclosed amount from Mr. Ratan Tata. The funds will be utilized to expand its services across Mumbai as well as and 6-7 other cities across India.

The company has a great rate of repeated customers. More than 80% orders come from repeated customers. With the increasing rate of user engagement, the company is planning to invest a huge chunk in its marketing effort and would soon be serving more orders per month in Pune and Mumbai.

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