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Sixth Sense Ventures in talks to buy stake in Veeba Food Services

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-09-2017 Swaraj Singh Dhanjal

Mumbai: Sixth Sense Ventures, an early-stage consumer-sector-focused fund, is in talks to buy a small stake in condiments and sauce company Veeba Food Services Pvt. Ltd, in a deal valuing the company at over $100 million (about Rs650 crore), two people aware of the development said.

Incorporated in 2013, Veeba Food supplies sauces and dips to restaurants and fast-food chains including KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Taco Bell, Domino’s and Starbucks. The company was started by Viraj Bahl, the former head of packaged foods firm Fun Foods, which was sold to German food maker Dr Oetker in 2008.

“Sixth Sense Ventures is in talks to acquire a small stake in Veeba, through a secondary share purchase. A couple of the early backers, angel investors, of the company are looking to sell their shares to Sixth Sense,” said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.

The transaction, which will value the company at around Rs700-800 crore, is expected to be closed soon, he added.

Veeba Food has been tweaking its business model from a 100% business-to-business (B2B) supplier of condiments and sauces to launching several products under its own Veeba brand through modern retail and online channels, according to the second person mentioned above. “They are attracting significant investor interest given their focus on both the B2B and B2C segments,” he added.

B2C refers to business to consumer.

Veeba’s retail product range includes mayonnaise, sandwich spread, Italian sauces, salad dressing, dips and mustard sauce.

An email sent to Veeba founder Bahl on Tuesday did not elicit any response.

“Sixth Sense is a consumer-focused fund and we have invested significantly behind brands of tomorrow. We are evaluating a couple of investments in the space and will disclose the same when closed,” said Nikhil Vora, founder of Sixth Sense Ventures.

Sixth Sense is not the first investor to bet on Veeba.

In October 2016, Veeba Food raised $6 million in a Series B round of fundraising from venture firms Saama Capital and Verlinvest.

Earlier in 2015, the company raised $6 million from DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital.

Other investors too have bet on this space.

In June 2016, Cremica Food Industries Ltd, a Ludhiana-based food products firm, raised $15 million from Rabo Equity Advisors Pvt. Ltd, which manages the India Agri Business Fund II.

Cremica, known for its sauce, condiments and snacks, is looking to achieve sales of Rs1,000 crore by 2020, the company said in a statement announcing the investment.

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