Bengaluru, India: Bengaluru based start–up GO DESi has raised Rs. four-and-a-half crores in the company’s second round of funding led by Rukam Capital, headquartered in New Delhi. Other investors who participated in the round are AngelList and Upaya Social Ventures. The current round of funding will help the company expand operations, launch a larger portfolio of products and spread geographically. The last round of funding raised by GO DESi was in September 2018.
GO DESi is a packaged food brand inspired by local flavours, regional formats, entirely manufactured at micro-units in rural and semi-urban areas.
The company was founded by former ITC Limited professional, Vinay Kothari in 2018. He worked as a Brand Manager for ‘Sunfeast’ amongst other roles at different levels during his seven year stint at ITC Limited. Currently, GO DESi operates in the confectionery/point of sale category. The brand offers traditional flavoured food products like Imli Pop, Jackfruit bars, Banana Bites, Lemon Chaat, Amla Bites and more.
GO DESi products are “AS IS” and have no added colour, flavour or preservatives are made in rural areas with 40% of the value consumer pays going back to the rural economy.
Rukam Capital invests in early-stage consumer products and services companies that have exceptional growth potential and exhibit the potential for substantial returns.
“GO DESi has exhibited fast-paced growth in the first round of seed funding. Their ability to revive traditional flavours in their products and generate income opportunities in rural areas is an attractive business model with significant market potential. Through this investment, GO DESi will get the support required to scale the business and play a significant role in reviving the traditional tastes of India in the packaged food space,” said Archana Jahagirdar, Rukam Capital’s Managing Partner.
Speaking on the funding, GO DESi Founder Vinay Kothari said “Our growth in the last two years has shown the consumer acceptability of DESi flavours & formats at the point of sale. Convenient price points have helped us generate quick trials and adoptions in both online & offline channels. GO DESi products are free of all preservatives. We believe in the mantra “EAT GOOD, DO GOOD”. GO DESi, is our attempt to revive not only traditional tastes but also our rich heritage of homemade recipes & memories associated with those tastes. We plan to utilise the funds to expand our reach, build a stronger team and add to the portfolio of our products.”
The confectionery brand was incubated and supported by NSRCEL–IIMB, Wadhwani Foundation FMCG Accelerator, Singapore International Foundation’s Young Social Entrepreneurs’ cohort, and the Upaya Agribusiness cohort. In 2018, GO Desi raised Rs 1 crore in funding led by Lead Angels Network headquartered in Mumbai with participation from Angel Investors including serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Sify, Mr R. Ramaraj.
GO DESi‘s best seller Imli pop is available at more than 1300 retail stores in Bengaluru & Hyderabad. It is also the top-selling product in the respective category on Amazon.