Rage Coffee, a digitally native FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) brand, building breakthrough products in emerging coffee categories, closed a round of funding led by Refex Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm with participation from members of angel network Keirutsu Forum Chennai, and a clutch of other prominent investors.
According to a UNI report: The round also saw participation from Harminder Sahni, Founder and Managing Director, Wazir Advisors; T D Mohan, Former Joint Managing Director, CavinKare; Rajan Srikanth, Co-president, Keiretsu Forum Chennai and Singapore; Prakash Katama, Former Chief Executive Officer, TVS Electronics; Uday Sodhi, Former Business Head, SonyLiv; Ajay Sarupria, PE (private equity) Investor; Television Presenter Rannvijay Singh Singha; A Kumar, Founder, Gemini Paints, and Sawan Gupta, Managing Director, Spero Group of Companies.
The freshly-infused capital will be used to launch innovative new products, scale-up production, strengthen the team and expand Omnichannel distribution presence. The brand plans to capture market share of the category devoid of any innovation – be it the ingredients, formulations, manufacturing techniques, packaging, distribution or use of data to be agile.
The company, founded in 2018, was born out of consumer feedback, while its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bharat Sethi, serial entrepreneur with close to a decade of experience in building brands online, was working on solving the distribution challenge for new-age FMCG brands.
Elaborating on the fundraise, he told UNI, “It is my absolute privilege to have such distinguished entrepreneurs join us as investors in this exciting journey. I have always been a big believer and propagator of digital first brands.”
“The next decade will see a wave of disruptive consumer brands from India, taking pole position at the global level, many of which will cross Rs 1,000 crore in top line,” Sethi was further quoted by PTI as saying.
“We are targeting to be one of those companies, having already captured a high degree of mindshare in a short span of time. Our approach to supply chain, sourcing, consumer segmentation, product R&D, D2C data-driven DNA combined with a hybrid distribution model and, most importantly, our close relationship with our customers places us in a great spot to build a brand that is truly poised to capitalise on the immense market opportunity,” he told UNI.
In June 2019, he company roped in Arijit Mitra, former National Sales Head, Coke Beverages, as Director of sales to grow the offline business.
Singha, who invested in the company in July last year, and joined the current fundraise as well, stated that he had been a believer in the team and product since day one.
“It goes without saying that Rage Coffee is a brand that has quickly captured the imagination of its target audience through a breakthrough product combined with innovative marketing strategies,” he further told UNI.
Sahni, an active angel investor, joined the brand’s board of advisors in this fundraise. On his investment, he said, “I strongly believe that with Rage Coffee’s unique approach towards blends and flavours, innovative packaging and multichannel distribution, it will be disrupting the conventional coffee market, quite like CCD did over the last decade.”
According to a Frost and Sullivan report, functional food and beverages in India are currently still in its initial stages, growing at a rate of 17.1 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate), expected to be valued at US$ 4 billion in 2020.
Rage Coffee plans to capitalise on the currently untapped opportunity, driven by increasing disposable income and strong health and wellness trends.
Its products are retailed through its own website, all leading online platforms and over 400 touch points offline. The company plans to quadruple sales, reach over 2,000 outlets by the end of 2020 and clock a significant chunk of sales from institutional and HoReCa (hotel, restaurant and cafe) business.
Sridhar Parthasarathi, Managing Partner, Refex Capital, also joined the company’s board. He told UNI, “Rage provides consumers a unique coffee experience with enriched flavours, a clear differentiation, great convenience through their distinctive single shot coffee on-the-go packaging. Besides the large market opportunity, our bet is on the management spearheaded by Sethi.”