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Consumer Foods Brand ‘Yu’ raises USD 1 Mn from Asian Paints

Consumer Foods Brand 'Yu' raises US$ 1 Mn from Asian Paints Promoters, HNIs

Funding News

Consumer Foods Brand ‘Yu’ raises USD 1 Mn from Asian Paints

Yu, a consumer brand that is re-imagining consumer packaged foods with their 100% natural Instant Meal Bowls, has secured USD 1 million in its pre-Series A round. The round saw participation from Manish Choksi and Varun Vakil, part of the Asian Paints promoter group, Lalvani family, UK-based food & hospitality group; Nikhil Srivastava, Head of India at PAG private equity; Vishal Sampat, Founder, Convonix, among others.

Founded by Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur, Yu has crafted a range of delicious Instant Meal Bowls that contain ZERO preservatives, additives, artificial flavourings or colours. Developed using highly advanced lyophilization technology, chef-curated recipes and 100% natural ingredients, Yu’s meal bowls retain their original taste and aroma while enjoying a non-refrigerated shelf life of 12 months. All its products can be prepared in under 4 minutes by simply adding hot water with zero cooking and hassle-free preparation.

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Inspired by the 2020 Nasa SpaceX mission, Yu uses advanced bio-chemistry processes that avoid denaturation caused by conventional dehydration and allows foods to retain their original taste, aroma and texture upon rehydration. Importantly, non-usage of direct heat in the process helps foods retain their nutrients making the product line healthier than conventional packaged foods. All products are prepared and packaged at Yu’s fully integrated 12,000 sq ft advanced, state-of-art, commercial scale food-lab in Gurgaon, India.

Bharat Bhalla, Founder & Executive Director, Yu Foodlabs, said, “We have combined the most advanced food science technology with culinary arts to re-imagine the future of packaged foods. Our Instant Meal Bowls are packed with gourmet flavours and nutrients while using ZERO preservatives or artificial ingredients. The use of proprietary processes has enabled us to launch our products at an attractive price point of INR 75-100 per bowl. We are adopting an omnichannel sales strategy and in due course will be present in offline and online stores pan-India.”

Varun Kapur, Founder & Executive Director, Yu Foodlabs, shared his excitement on securing the seed funding, “It has been heartening to receive a very tangible vote of confidence from an eminent set of investors in our pre-launch stage. We have partnered with high pedigree investors with backgrounds in consumer brands, private equity, hospitality, technology and digital marketing. We will use the funds to increase our production capacity to over 5 lac meal bowls per month while expanding our distribution network to key markets across India.”

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