Indian snacks and sweets major Haldiram Snacks Pvt. Ltd is in advanced discussions to invest in Bengaluru-based Frozen Bottle, a quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain that sells milkshakes and desserts, said three people aware of the development, requesting anonymity.
Haldiram’s, which was founded in 1937 and largely remained in the mass retail space, is looking to invest between $8 million and $10 million into Frozen Bottle, said the first person mentioned above.
“Haldiram’s proposed investment into Frozen Bottle will be structured via their family office fund and will involve equity with a strategic investment approach,” the second person added.
The traditional snacks maker, which reportedly breached ₹5,000 crore mark in revenues in 2018, has also been eyeing startups in the packaged consumer goods segment, as well as a bunch of technology brands, the first person said.
According to a report by web portal YourStory last month, Frozen Bottle had crossed ₹40 crore in annual revenue and currently operates 140 stores across 18 cities, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Pune, Surat, Manipal, Kochi and Coimbatore.
The report said Yadav and Suvarna had jointly invested ₹37 lakh to start the business. Initially, the company operated as a proprietary brand, but later moved to the franchise format. It also sells its products on food delivery platforms such as Swiggy and Zomato.
Haldiram’s entered the venture capital business in April this year with a strategic investment into startup incubation platform Venture Catalysts.
Back then, the co-founder of Venture Catalysts, Anuj Golecha, said in a statement that it plans to co-invest in up to 10-15 startups in the consumer goods space over the next two years.
Frozen Bottle competes with Delhi-based Keventers which operates over 250 stores serving milkshakes and desserts.
Hyderabad-based Thick Shake Factory, which was founded in 2013, also operates QSR stores in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
Apart from Halidiram’s, traditional brands such as Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), have also been looking at the startup segment closely to break into the new-age consumer goods space.
Grocery delivery startup Milkbasket had secured multiple tranches of funding from Uniliver Ventures over the past two years, while Hindustan Unilever, in partnership with Amazon, has been co-developing a range of men’s grooming brands targeted at new-age consumers.