Quick Service Restaurant Chain 99 Pancakes Secures INR 6.5 Cr To Ramp Up Expansion The startup plans to open 25 outlets across India over the coming months and aims to venture into FMCG segment with pancake pre-mixes

By Soumya Duggal

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Mumbai-headquartered 99 Pancakes, a quick service restaurant (QSR) chain, has raised INR 6.5 crore in a round of funding from a group of angel investors. India's first QSR chain specializing in pancakes is set to utilize the funding from this round, its first, for aggressive expansion and marketing across the country in the coming months, said an official statement.

The brand plans to open 25 outlets in the first phase, and going ahead with more rounds of funding, it plans to penetrate in tier II and III cities as well. The brand will follow the company-owned, company-operated (COCO) and franchise-owned, company-operated (FOCO) model to mark its presence all over the country, said the statement.

"In the last five years, 99 Pancakes has successfully carved a niche for itself in the QSR segment. We have grown steadily through the owned and franchise route so far. With this funding, we will steer ahead and expand our presence in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. To maintain the SOPs and experience of the ambience and menu, we wish to keep the operational functionality with us, however to penetrate the markets all across the country, we may adopt the institutional franchise route," said Vikesh Shah, founder, 99 Pancakes.

"With this funding we intend to enter the FMCG segment with pancake premixes. A part of these funds will also be utilized towards brand building and marketing. We have grown organically so far and we will now adopt a strategic approach towards brand positioning and visibility through a digital first approach," added Shah.

According to a recent The Economic Times report, investor interest, fundraising and mergers and acquisitions are back in the fine-dine, quick service and cafes sector amid the revival of the INR 4.2 lakh crore food industry after two years of pandemic-induced restrictions which brought the sector to a standstill and saw permanent closure of over 25 per cent restaurants.

The Indian QSR market, particularly, is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 18 per cent during 2021-2025 due to increasing urbanization, rapid expansion in food delivery services, expanding young and working population, growing number of dual-income families and rising disposable income in the country, as per projections by ResearchAndMarkets.com.

Founded in 2017, 99 Pancakes is currently present across 14 cities of the country, including Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Lucknow, Indore and Hyderabad, among others. The brand offers a 100 per cent vegetarian menu, which includes specialty pancakes, waffles, pastries, French macarons, chocolates, and more. Customers can dine in, take away or order delivery through Zomato and Swiggy. For its recent collaboration with Cartoon Network, the brand rolled out a special summer menu for children inspired by popular cartoon shows like Ben 10 and Tom and Jerry. In the past, it has also collaborated with Nickelodeon and SONY. The brand plans to further explore such marketing associations, said the statement.

Soumya Duggal

Former Feature Writer

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