Yu, a consumer food brand that makes preservative-free meal bowls, has raised $1 million in its pre-Series A round of funding from multiple investors.
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 in 2020, Yu says it has come out with a range of instant meal bowls that contain zero preservatives, additives, artificial flavourings or colours.
According to Yu, its meals retain their original taste and aroma while having a non-refrigerated shelf life of 12 months.
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.”
These meal bowls are priced in the range of Rs 75-100. Yu has introduced six SKUs across two categories — wholesome pasta bowls and wholegrain oat bowls. It plans to introduce dessert bowls, veg/non-veg Asian noodle bowls and superfood breakfast bowls.
Varun Kapur, Founder & Executive Director, Yu Foodlabs, said, “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.”
Yu’s products are available at 100 plus retail outlets across Delhi NCR besides online marketplaces. It is adopting an omnichannel sales strategy and in due course will be present in offline and online stores pan-India.
The brand aims to establish an offline presence in Mumbai MMR, East/ North East by January 2022 followed by all other metro cities in 9-12 months.