Once started out as a small business venture, with an initial investment of Rs 30,000, has now grown into a full-blown fast food restaurant chain, with varied product categories appealing to every taste. Immediately after completion of their final exams, St. Xavier's Kolkata alumni and best friends Sagar Daryani and Binod Homagai launched Wow! Momo in 2008.
Still in their 20s, the duo has managed to plough back profits to grow Wow! Momo from a single outlet in Kolkata into a quick service restaurant (QSR) chain, with over 50 outlets across Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kochi; and the team now plans to expand aggressively in Delhi over the coming months.
With this objective in mind, the food start-up has bagged over Rs 10 crore ($1.5 million) in its first round of funding led by Indian Angel Network (IAN), including participation from ace investors such as Sanjeev Bhikchandani, Saurabh Srivastava, Ashvin Chadha, Ajai Chowdhry, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Raman Roy, and Anand Ladsariya amongst others.
Commenting on the new deal, Daryani, Co-founder, Wow! Momo, said, “The investment has been raised to expand our business across cities, strengthening our presence in the current cities, improving our product range and services, enhancing customer experience and strengthening our core team. By creating a vast national presence while maintaining the quality of the food we serve, we intend to be world’s largest chain of momos, creating employment, and adding value to the economy and society as a whole.”
Focus on Growth, Innovation
With over $16 million (Rs 100 crore) in valuation, both Daryani and Homagai, are keen to leverage investors’ strategic insights and network for Wow! Momo. On the other hand, IAN is too excited by Wow! Momo’s proposition of an innovative product line, comprising of Momo, Thukpa and Meals. As a part of this round, IAN will look at nurturing the venture and the team to scale up and standardise ‘momo’ as a dish relished in India and all over the world.
Speaking on the company’s growth strategy, Sanjeev Bhikchandani, Founder & Vice Chairman, Naukri.com, said, “Wow! Momo is a true reflection of the Indian mindset of standardising products and Innovation in the F&B (Food & Beverage) space. While you have access to multiple momo stalls across your locality, Wow! Momo as a brand promises consistent quality, while exciting taste buds with innovative momo’s that have never been tried before. At IAN, we recognise the market potential, talent, and the urge to disrupt the ecosystem, which is evident in Daryani and Homagai, and their venture.”
Wow! Momo’s mantra for success is their focus on growth, constant product innovation, and delivering seamless customer experience. They serve over 11 different flavors of momos available in steamed, fried, pan-fried, sizzler and baked form, with versions appealing every taste bud – like Chocolate Momo, MoBurg, Sizzler Momo, Baked Momo, Augratin, etc.
Food and Hospitality sector has emerged amongst the hottest segments in the ecosystem. The rapid growing middle class accounts for the bulk of the company’s business. Commenting on the response that the brand has received across the country, Daryani told, “We have literally played with momo to make it the nation’s favorite food and we are overwhelmed by the phenomenal response that we have received. People are queuing up and repeat purchases are increasing.”
The duo’s mission is to make Wow! Momo the food for all occasions and create a niche market not only for the masses, but also for the upper and middle classes. With the launch of Delhi’s flagship outlet, the company has established yet another milestone in expanding its presence across 6 cities.
Commenting on the same, Saurabh Srivastava, IAN investor, said, “We expect Wow! Momo to soon be a household name in Delhi-NCR region, with their current plan of expanding to over 30 outlets here during the course of next 24 months in high street locations, outlets, and malls.” The brand intends to open 60 more outlets in the next 2 years.