Mumbai-based FMCG brand Epigamia has raised ₹182 crores in series C round from Belgium-based consumer-focused investment firm Verlinvest and French multinational food company Danone’s investment arm Danone Manifesto Ventures. Existing investor DSG Consumer Partners as well as Cipla’s Executive Chairperson Samina Vaziralli, who is a new investor also participated in the funding round. Venture debt firm InnoVen Capital also participated in the funding round.
The FMCG brand’s parent company Drums Food International plans to use the freshly raised capital to expand its product offerings across newer geographies. Founded by Ganesh Krishnamoorthy, Milap Shah, Rahul Jain, Rohan Mirchandani and Uday Thakker in 2015, Epigamia is India’s first premium Greek yoghurt brand.
Speaking on the fund-raiser, Rohan Mirchandani, CEO and Co-founder, said, “This new funding round will help us to expand our distribution across 25 Indian cities while expanding our range of fresh contemporary products with unique value propositions like high protein, lactose-free, and probiotics. We are also excited to bring on Samina as a shareholder, who has always been a great supporter and advisor.”
The FMCG brand sells its products across 10,000 touch points like Reliance Fresh and Future Group’s Foodhall, Big Bazaar and Hypercity. The company also sells its products online via various e-commerce channels like Amazon and Big Basket. Moreover, the FMCG company has partnered up with numerous general trade retailers across Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kolkata.
“We have a five-year vision to expand distribution across 50,000 touch points. We have been able to create and demonstrate value in managing a cold chain logistics fleet and intend to continue to scale this further as we develop new products. We may also look to partner or make some acquisitions in the future,” added Rahul Jain, Founding Partner of Epigamia.
With the latest funding development, the company has announced Ramanpreet Sohi, formerly with Innovative Foods, to be the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the firm. Since its inception in 2015, the company has expanded its product portfolio to include Artisanal Curd, India’s first lactose-free curd, Greek Yoghurt Smoothies, a high protein drinkable yoghurt and Epigamia Mishti Doi, a contemporary form of the traditional Bengali sweet yoghurt.
Deepak Shahdadpuri, Managing Director of DSG Consumer Partners, said, “Over the last 3 years, Rohan and the Epigamia team have not only created the Greek yoghurt category in India but have also established Epigamia as a Fresh FMCG brand. We are excited to invest alongside our long-term partner Verlinvest and new partner Danone Manifesto Ventures in this latest round as we start the next phase of growth.”
Earlier in 2018, Reuters reported that Danone was planning to invest in more than 25 firms through its investment arm as well as planning to buy 5-7 companies every year to focus on sustainability and healthfulness. Danone hasn’t been successful in India’s dairy market. In January 2018, the firm closed its dairy units after three failed market capturing attempts.
On its investment in Epigamia, Laurent Marcel, Managing Director of Danone Manifesto Ventures, said, “We are convinced of Epigamia’s great growth potential thanks to its unique positioning on the Indian dairy market. As a modern and innovative brand, it appeals to the ever-growing number of Indian consumers looking for healthier options. This investment, our first with Danone Manifesto Ventures in Asia, is a perfect fit, as Epigamia places taste, quality and health at the centre of its model. We look forward to putting Danone’s resources and expertise to use in supporting Epigamia’s talented team as their business continues to expand across India.”
The failure of Danone in capturing India’s dairy market is compensated by its investment in Epigamia. Dairy is the largest business for Danone worldwide and after failing to penetrate the Indian market, Danone has strategically invested in Epigamia to fill in the gaps. Danone will also be focusing on its nutrition business to double its revenue in India.