Arjun Balaji, Co-founder and Director, Gourmet Garden and Vishal Narayanaswamy, Co-founder, Gourmet Garden
TheNFAPost Podcast

Gourmet Garden aims to expand their zero-contamination farming operations, broaden portfolio with additional fresh categories, boost customer experience by deploying India’s first end-to-end B2C tech-enabled cold-chain, and improve ordering experience with a mobile app and refreshed website

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Gourmet Garden, the first full-range zero-contamination F&V brand in the country, has announced its latest round of funding of Rs 25 crore led by Beyond Next Ventures, M Venture Partners, and existing investors Incubate India & Whiteboard Capital among others.

Established in early 2019, Gourmet Garden is known for offering the widest range of zero-contamination vegetables and fruits and other curated essential offerings. They stand out on quality and safety owing to their patented naturoponic farming operations, certified organic farming extensions, and a lean 1-day & 2-touch supply chain.

Already a leading brand in Bengaluru and Chennai, the start-up is founded by Arjun Balaji, erstwhile a Partner at McKinsey and Company, and Vishal Narayanaswamy who launched among the first hydroponic farms in India.

With this funding, Gourmet Garden aims to expand their zero-contamination farming operations, broaden portfolio with additional fresh categories, boost customer experience by deploying India’s first end-to-end B2C tech-enabled cold-chain, and improve ease of ordering with a mobile app and refreshed website.

Gourmet Garden Cofounder and Director Arjun Balaji said the company is fulfilling the consumer need-gap for a brand offering wholesome, distinctly fresh, and safe food essentials for everyday consumption.

“Most other offerings are aggregating commodity supply, however, our focus has been to operate end-to-end and focus disproportionately on source quality and safety, which is at the core of overall customer experience and differentiation,” said Arjun Balaji.

Commenting on the fundraising, Gourmet Garden Cofounder Vishal Narayanaswamy said the company wishes to be the favoured brand destination for all things wholesome, fresh and curated.

“Our patented Naturoponic farming yields the highest quality vegetables and is our customers’ most loved offering. Essentials grown in certified organic farms along with an assortment of imported fruits make up our extended safe F&V range. In addition, we also offer a selection of authentic spices and dry fruits, and will soon be launching wholesome breads and organic sauces & dips for a wider range in fresh,” said Vishal Narayanaswamy.

The company now spans 60,000 customers in Bengaluru and Chennai alone. Over 75% orders every month come from repeat customers, a testimony to their loyalty-building quality.

Beyond Next Ventures Agri/FoodTech Lead Capitalist Akito Arima said the company is delighted to see that their sustainable cultivation techniques and quality of succulent vegetables are comparable to those in Japan.

“The focus on affordable, high quality and safe fruits and vegetables is rising in urban India. Gourmet Garden possesses a full basket of high-quality produce, delivered in shortest time keeping their loyal customers happy,” said Akito Arima.

Singapore-based M Venture Partners Founder Mayank Parekh said simply put, the company partner with great founder entrepreneurs. “The distinctive talent combination of Arjun and Vishal is the perfect formula to scale this incredible offering for consumers,” said Mayank Parekh.

The existing investors are very excited by the progress thus far and have extended their commitments further. Incubate Fund India Founder Nao Murakami said since the initial investment in the start-up few months ago, the founders and the team have shown a very strong execution capability.

“Even under COVID-19 pandemic and the series of lockdowns, the team managed to operate with full intensity despite a leaner covid-impacted team, showing agility to solve challenges. This is clearly backed by their passion and conviction,” said Nao Murakami.

Whiteboard Capital General Partner Anshu Prasher said the company continues to be very excited by the organic growth and customer love that has become the cornerstone of Gourmet Garden’s promise.

“The offering has scaled well and is all set to become the largest clean and contamination-free fresh essentials D2C brand in India and we are looking forward to the journey ahead with Arjun, Vishal and our co-investors,” said Anshu Prasher.

About Gourmet Garden:
Gourmet Garden is a curated full-range brand of wholesome food essentials and fresh produce. The vegetables and fruits offered by Gourmet Garden are distinctly higher quality, mostly grown in their patented zero-contamination NaturoponicTM farms and certified organic farms to yield unmatched freshness and assured safety for consumers.

The farming methods are also economically viable for farmer partners adopting their approach, while also being the most sustainable methods from an environmental perspective. In addition to the fresh produce range, Gourmet Garden is offering a range of freshly cold-ground spices and the highest-grade of dry fruits and will soon offer other fresh categories including a wide range of breads and organic sauces & dressings. Gourmet Garden is thus catering to the unmet needs of the urban consumer for wholesome safe and high-quality food ingredients.

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