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DAIRY PRODUCTS

Drums Food International raises funding of Rs 90 crore led by Verlinvest
Saturday, 08 July, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Drums Food International, the parent company of Epigamia Greek yoghurt, raised Series B funding of Rs 90 crore. The round was led by Verlinvest, a Belgium-based consumer-focused private equity group.

Verlinvest, created by the founding families of Anheuser-Busch InBev and DSG Consumer Partners (DSGCP), an early-stage venture capital firm run by consumer industry veteran Deepak Shahdadpuri, managing director, DSGCP, also included venture debt participation from InnoVen Capital, India’s largest venture debt provider, backed by Temasek Holdings.

The company plans to innovate and launch new flavours, initiate brand-building activities and increase production capacity through the new capital.

Rohan Mirchandani, co-founder and chief executive officer, Drums Food International said, “It has been such a pleasure to work with Verlinvest and DSGCP. They have been true value-added partners and helped us grow the business with full support and assistance.”

“We have been able to see first hand why their global track record is so successful. Partnering again in this round was a no-brainer, and with their support, we plan to continue expanding our product lines, categories, and geographies,” he added.

“With the recent additions to our leadership, including Siddarth Menon, Francis Vidhayathil and Dharmesh Joshi, the missing pieces to our dream team are now in place, and the sky is the limit for this amazing team I am proud to be a part of,” Mirchandani added.

Epigamia is India’s first branded and leading premium Greek yoghurt, which has rapidly gained traction with the Indian consumer. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, it is popular across a wide consumer demographic, positioning it as the snack of choice for India’s health-conscious millennials.

Since raising its Series A round last year from Verlinvest and DSGCP, the company has expanded distribution by over five times, and launched the Epigamia Snack Pack, a first-of-its-kind product in Asia that combines dry snacks to be mixed with Greek yoghurt through innovative packaging.

Nicholas Cator, executive director, Verlinvest said, “We are very happy with our fantastic partnership with Epigamia and Mirchandani. We believe there is great growth potential to offer premium dairy products to Indian consumers, and Epigamia addresses this with a compelling proposition.”

“Verlinvest prides itself on being a daring investor in the consumer world and enabling entrepreneurs through inspiring journeys. Epigamia fits well within this vision,” he added.

Talking about the developments in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market and the growing relevance of Greek yoghurt, Shahdadpuri said, “DSGCP is pleased to continue our relationship with Mirchandani and the amazing team at Epigamia with this new round of investment.”

“Along with our partners Verlinvest, we have seen the team launch India’s first Greek yoghurt, and more recently, the first yoghurt snack pack a few months ago,” he added.

“Core to Epigamia’s success is its unrelenting focus on innovation and always delighting the customer. With this new round of funding, we will see exciting new products coming to the market, focused on healthy and functional benefits. Indian consumers are increasingly looking for exciting new products that taste delicious,” Shahdadpuri said.

The company also announced that Arjun Anand, from Verlinvest’s Singapore office, and Prashant Chhaya, former executive director, Mondelez International, will join its board of directors.

“We are happy to continue to back a talented team that has set out to build the leading premium dairy brand in India,” said Anand.

“Greek yoghurt has great health and wellness benefits, and we believe that Greek yoghurt and premium dairy in general will become large categories in India,” he added.

“This increased investment in Epigamia alongside DSGCP fits well within our partnership to be a long-term supporter of young brands and talented entrepreneurs in growing categories in India,” Anand said.

“Mirchandani has put together a great board of directors with talent across strategic areas, and I look forward to joining them soon,” he added.

“The value-added dairy market in India is predicted to grow at a double-digit rate over the next few years,” Chhaya said.

“With the rising popularity of probiotic products, superior offerings, a higher level of brand recall and awareness and increased market penetration, Epigamia is well placed to lead the Greek yoghurt market in India,” he added.

Launched in June 2015, Epigamia is currently available in eight unique flavours across 4000-plus retail stores such as Reliance Fresh, Godrej Nature’s Basket, Future Group’s Foodhall and Big Bazaar, Hypercity, e-commerce platforms such as Big Basket and numerous general trade retailers spread across Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

The company is positioned to become a formidable FMCG player in the fast-emerging glocal space – global quality and locally made in India. 
 
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