Drums Food International, the parent company of Indian yogurt brand Epigamia, has secured INR 1.82 billion ($25.6 million) in funding, including an investment from Danone Manifesto Ventures.
Alongside Danone, the Series C round was led by Belgian investment firm Verlinvest alongside participation from existing investor DSG Consumer Partners (DSGCP) and new investor Samina Vaziralli, executive vice chairperson of Cipla.
Since its Series B funding, Epigamia has expanded its portfolio to include Artisanal Curd, which it describes as “India’s first lactose-free curd”, Mishti Doi, a contemporary take on a traditional Bengali dessert, and Greek Yogurt Smoothies, a high-protein drinkable yogurt. The brand also makes a range of Greek yogurts.
Epigamia CEO and co-founder Rohan Mirchandani said: “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Verlinvest and DSGCP and are very excited to bring Danone Manifesto Ventures into this partnership. Danone is the global leader in our space and with the support from their venture arm, we expect to execute an ambitious business plan.
“With this new funding round, we intend to expand our distribution across 25 cities in India and expand our range of fresh contemporary products with unique value propositions like high protein, lactose free, and probiotics. We are also excited to bring on Samina as a shareholder, who has always been a great supporter and advisor.”
Rahul Jain, Epigamia founding partner, said: “We have a five-year vision to expand distribution across 50,000 touch points. We have been able to create and demonstrate value in managing a cold chain logistics fleet and intend to continue to scale this further as we develop new products. We may also look to partner or make some acquisitions in the future.”
Laurent Marcel, managing director of Danone Manifesto Ventures, said: “We are convinced of Epigamia’s great growth potential thanks to its unique positioning on the Indian dairy market. As a modern and innovative brand, it appeals to the ever-growing number of Indian consumers looking for healthier options. This investment, our first with Danone Manifesto Ventures in Asia, is a perfect fit, as Epigamia places taste, quality and health at the centre of its model.
“We look forward to putting Danone’s resources and expertise to use in supporting Epigamia’s talented team as their business continues to expand across India.”
Danone’s investment comes exactly a year after it announced plans to shut its dairy unit in India. The company, which entered India in 2010, said it would discontinue SKU’s which were making a minority contribution to its overall business in the country.
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