Singapore online restaurant Grain raises pre-Series B from Majuven, others

Singapore-based online restaurant Grain has closed a pre-Series B round backed by early-stage venture fund Majuven with participation from food services company FoodXervices, and F&B company First Gourmet, according to a press release.

Financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Existing backers NSI Ventures, Thai Express founder Ivan Lee, and 500 Startups co-invested in this round.

Funding proceeds will see Grain’s distribution network in Singapore scaled up prior to the Series B fundraising. In December 2016, NSI Ventures reportedly led a separate pre-Series B investment in Grain.

In January 2016, Grain secured $1.7 million in Series A investment in a financing round led by NSI Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups, Ivan Lee, DMP, Koh Boon Hwee (Managing Director of GK Goh Holdings) and other undisclosed angel investors.

Startup stock exchange Funderbeam estimated its valuation at $11.53 million as at January 2016, while data compiled by Crunchbase indicates the firm has disclosed funding of S$4.2 million across three rounds, including this latest Series B capital raise.

Majuven is a Singapore-based fund that focuses on high-growth enterprises in the areas of biomedical sciences, digital convergence and sustainable technologies. Led by Managing Partner Lim Ho Kee, it counts Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Singapore’s prime minister, as one of its founding partners.

The venture utilises data and a technology-enabled distribution network to serve food to customers. Customers can select dishes and place their orders via the online platform, with customers getting a notification via their mobile phone. It competes in the food delivery space with Foodpanda, UberEats and Deliveroo. Unlike these players, it possesses in-house cooking as a key differentiator, with its own central kitchen.

In 2017, it reportedly tripled its investment in technology and posted sales growth estimated at 330 per cent, as well as improving gross profits by more than 10 per cent, with 60 per cent of its users being repeat customers.

Grain reflects a broader trend of the emerging virtual restaurant model, where virtual eateries operate out of centralised commissaries that operate several food-delivery services and can enjoy advantages offer in terms of economies of scale, cost efficiencies and product quality.

These virtual eateries are often built around specific cuisine concepts and have the advantage of reduced costs from not having to devote square footage to customer seating and waiting areas.

Singapore, with its limited land and high property price, has seen more of these delivery-only restaurants being established, which also translates to greater competition for Grain.

In a statement, CEO and co-founder Yi Sung Yong said, “One of the biggest challenges people face every day is deciding what to eat – how to find consistently delicious, healthy and convenient food. We want to solve this problem by creating delicious food that makes you feel great as well as being easily accessible.”

Also Read:

Singapore: NSI Ventures backs $13m Series B in womenswear label Love, Bonito

ingapore: Biofourmis raises $5m Series A from NSI Ventures, Aviva Ventures

Exclusive: Singapore’s NSI Ventures to raise $150m second fund

Majuven leads $1.5m Series A round in Vela

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.