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Rebel Foods Acquires Majority Stake In Chocolate Brand SMOOR

SMOOR aims to grow by 3X in FY 2022-23, making it the fourth brand investment by Rebel Foods

Rebel Foods made an announcement last year that it would invest $150 Mn in the coming years to acquire promising brands and scale up existing partnerships in India and abroad

SMOOR has reached $50 Mn valuation with this acquisition. It has grown over 120% in the last year and is looking to achieve a scale of $100 Mn annual revenue by 2026

Foodtech unicorn Rebel Foods has acquired a majority stake in luxury chocolate brand SMOOR to further consolidate its position as the Thrasio of food.

With this investment, SMOOR eyes to grow by three times in FY 2022-23. This partnership would further help its growth, according to a statement.  

The amount of acquisition was not disclosed by either of the companies but Rebel Foods has acquired more than 50% stake in Bengaluru-based chocolate brand SMOOR, Vimal Sharma, CEO, SMOOR told Inc42.

SMOOR valuation has reached $50 Mn after the fresh investment made by foodtech startup Rebel Foods, added Sharma.  

This is in line with Rebel Foods’ announcement made last year of investing $150 Mn in the coming years, as part of its focus on investing and acquiring promising brands in India and abroad to serve more food categories from its cloud kitchens.  

Founded in 2011 by Jaydeep Barman and Kallol Banerjee, Mumbai-based Rebel Foods is home to brands such as Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, Ovenstory Pizza, Mandarin Oak, The Good Bowl, SLAY Coffee, Sweet Truth, Wendy’s, among others. 

With more than 450 kitchens across 70+ cities, Rebel Foods has developed its full-stack technology – Rebel OS – through which multiple brands are launched and scaled up in a short period, as claimed by the foodtech unicorn. 

Through the Rebel Launcher, powered by Rebel OS, it has launched over 25 brands. Rebel Foods currently operates more than 45 brands across 10 countries – India, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah), the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, and Bangladesh.

“We are excited about adding SMOOR to our catalogue of brands with its leadership in high-quality chocolates and desserts offerings. This investment gives us confidence that we have been able to consistently choose outstanding brands. Being an early adopter of the Thrasio model in food in India, we have disrupted the 500-year old industry of the traditional restaurant business, by building a full-stack technology-enabled platform – Rebel Operating System,” said Raghav Joshi, cofounder, Rebel Foods.  

Rebel Foods aims to add 40-50 food categories, prioritising missions like premium North Indian, South Indian, Indian sweets, sandwiches, among others in coming years. 

Founded in 2015 by Vimal Sharma, SMOOR’s first flagship store opened in August 2016 in Bengaluru to create a new benchmark for ‘Imagined in India’ finely-crafted foods. 

It brings together authentic ingredients and offers a premium range of products including chocolates, signature cakes, gift hampers, desserts, beverages, among others. It is available across its signature lounge, cafes, kiosks, digital platforms as well as online aggregator platforms.

“With Rebel Foods’ investment, we are set to make deeper inroads into the global market, introducing new and exciting confectionaries in multiple, accessible formats. We look forward to the growth that will unfold on the back of this development,” said Vimal Sharma, CEO, SMOOR.

SMOOR has grown over 120% in the last year and is looking to achieve a scale of $100 Mn annual revenue by 2026, by expanding its presence in India and world, as claimed by the chocolate brand.  

With this investment, SMOOR would continue to build its omnichannel distribution strategy by expanding its physical centers across Tier 1 cities in India and accelerate its online presence across digital platforms. 

The future expansion would include strengthening its physical presence in nine cities – Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, and Faridabad. The brand is available in more than 50 cities of India through the aggregator and marketplace platforms.

Last month, cloud kitchen unicorn Rebel Foods announced a $10 Mn ESOP liquidation program for 150 current and former employees, as first reported by Inc42. 

Meanwhile, ESOPs buyback is a practice undertaken by startups across the world for two major reasons – to create wealth opportunities for its employees, and to increase its share pool in order to raise a fresh round of investment. 

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