[Funding Alert] Gourmet Garden Raises Pre-series A Funding From Incubate Fund India and Whiteboard Capital The startup's focus is on plugging the gap for high quality, zero-contamination produce, and food essentials

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Gourmet Garden has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-series A funding from Incubate Fund India and Whiteboard Capital.

Arjun Balaji and Vishal Narayanaswamy, owing to their patented naturoponic farming approaches and localized two-touch supply chain, have launched among the first hydroponic farms in India.

"F&V (fruit and vegetables) is the single-largest consumer spent area in the country but the quality of supply has always been challenged. There are massive need gaps around traceable zero-contamination produce, true freshness and better tastes, and consistent and convenient all-year supply. Given the delicate and perishable nature of veggies, we realized that consistently high quality and safety cannot be delivered through just better sourcing from farmers. It requires farming approaches that yield significantly higher source quality, and an F&V centric supply ops that is radically lean and JIT," said Balaji, co-founder and director, Gourmet Garden.

"Our patented naturoponic farming approach is the most capital and carbon-efficient among other similar models. Veggies are grown with great care in protected soil-less environments, using filtered water and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) seeds. Produce is only harvested against customer orders, safely packed in bio-degradable options, and shipped to consumers within hours of harvest. The net result is veggies are fundamentally tastier and crunchier while being natural and fully safe. In addition, our organic range helps complete the essentials shopping basket, where unlike other alternatives which have gone through eight-ten touches and one-two weeks since harvest, our source quality interventions coupled with a two-day, two-touch supply ops helps us stand out in quality" commented Narayanaswamy, co-founder, Gourmet Garden.

"Gourmet Garden's approach is very much beneficial to both sides of the supply chain, consumer and farmers. Indian consumers are rapidly becoming more conscious about the quality and safety of food but there are no trusted home-grown F&V brands available in India. At the same time, Indian farmers are mostly very small and many important elements of their business such as access to market, technology implementation, advanced farming methodologies, etc, are missing. Gourmet Garden is solving this problem by creating a trusted brand on the back of their tech-enabled advanced farming and supply ops disruptions," added Nao Murakami, founder and general partner, Incubate Fund India.

"Gourmet Garden plugs into a very important consumer need, especially in the post-COVID world, where quality and traceability of fresh produce is not a luxury anymore. As investors since inception, we have been extremely impressed with the mission-driven nature and customer-centricity of Arjun and Vishal," stated Anshu Prasher, general partner, Whiteboard Capital. "We are excited as the company is seen as a destination for high-quality fresh produce across geographies and has continuously expanded its offerings over the months."

Their future focus is on expanding supply and GTM partnerships, boosting tech and automation, and bringing onboarding high talent as they go deeper in Bangalore, expand in Chennai, and launch in Mumbai and Delhi in the coming year.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

Former Staff

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