Funding led by prominent institutional investor Beyond Next Ventures (BNV), VC fund based out of Japan
‘Lil’Goodness’, a Bengaluru based kids’ food and nutrition start-up, has announced the successful completion of their seed funding round of Rs 5 Crores.
The new investors in the round included Beyond Next Ventures (BNV), a Japanese VC Fund, led by Tsuyoshi Ito, President and Mayu Morishima, Executive Officer. Top business leaders such as Sajan Pillai, former CEO-UST Global, and General Partner-Season two Ventures, the family of Lalit Pai, ex-CEO, Nightingales Healthcare and Dr. Muthu Krishnan, ex-CEO Tata Health have also earlier invested in the seed round.
‘Lil’Goodness’ is empowering millennial moms with a unique combination of ‘goodness’ filled choices for their Lil’ ones. The company, led by IIM Calcutta alumnus, Harshavardhan & nutrition expert Pariksha Rao, is set to revolutionize the eating habits among children through a comprehensive ecosystem of fresh and packaged meal options integrated with technology to create awareness of eating right amongst kids at an early age. The start-up is focused on providing a range of kids foods based on good health to strengthen immunity, extreme focus on quality, hygiene and food safety, while providing the convenience of anytime, anywhere accessibility to moms. In the times of COVID-19, these core pillars are even more relevant.
Expressing his optimism on the fresh funding support, Harshavardhan, Co-Founder & CEO, Lil’ Goodness said, “We are excited to receive the additional investment support from ‘Beyond Next Ventures’. Given the current circumstances, this is indeed a good boost for the entire team. We, at ‘Lil’ Goodness’ have the vision to positively influence the eating habits of our future generations through tasty, nutritious food options. With this fund infusion, we are looking to further expand our product range & distribution of packaged foods, develop a digital interface that will enable mothers to order products directly to their homes through a contactless delivery option for the fresh meals business, SCoolMeal. We are already preparing ourselves for the new normal once this pandemic ends and are confident that our extreme focus on immunity based nutrition, highest standards of food safety, hygiene will be rewarded by our consumers.”
Tsuyoshi Ito, President and Mayu Morishima, Executive Officer, Beyond Next Ventures said, “We are quite excited by the vision of the founders -Harshavardhan & Pariksha, in building a scientific food and nutrition brand focused on the kids. There is a huge opportunity for growth in this space especially as mothers look for healthy and hygienic solutions in the current context of COVID-19. We are impressed with the differentiated business model of the enterprise that combines the range between fresh meals and packaged foods, enabled by technology, and with a deep focus on principles of good nutrition”.
Sajan Pillai, General Partner, Season Two Ventures said, “I personally believe that in today’s context good health, hygiene and the convenience of contactless digital ordering for convenience will be the key drivers in a COVID-safe world. Lil’Goodness founders have the right vision, attitude and hard work to make this happen. I am particularly impressed with the manner they have approached the go-to-market, from the perspective of an end to end solution to the mother’s daily problems. Given their experience in healthcare and nutrition, I believe the founders know what it takes to really understand and come up with innovative solutions in these challenging times”.
‘LiL’Goodness’, the packaged food brand, is currently offering 7 products across 67 stores in Bangalore and through online delivery app Amazon India. The products are designed to build immunity in kids using vegetables, cereals, and milk in crackers, porridges, and shelf-stable yogurts. These products are manufactured in hygienic, sterile facilities to ensure the highest quality of food safety and hygiene. The products contain zero preservatives and no artificial colors. Lil’Goodness also owns and operates sCoolMeal, a fresh meal brand, has partnered with 55 educational institutions in Bangalore serving around 1800 orders per day, in the next session it is expanding to across 90+ institutions in Bangalore. sCoolMeal is available at educational institutions, kids’ activity centers, and at home through online delivery app Swiggy.
The company is also introducing a new application that will enable mothers to order meals directly to their homes through a contactless delivery option. The kitchen facilities have been recently re-certified for ISO-22000 (2018), a testament to the high standards of hygiene being maintained.
Additionally, despite being an early-stage start-up, as a socially responsible corporate, the company like many other big corporate giants stepped up its relief efforts towards COVID-19 pandemic and provided 30,000 meals to less privileged and less fortunate kids in Bangalore as part of the ‘Hope, Not Hunger’ program with Swiggy.
The startup also recently was recognised as one of the top 5 most disruptive startups for customer value creation by FICCI-FLO.