Astarc Ventures leads investment round in TravelKhana via LetsVenture

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Astarc Ventures is leading the current round of investment into TravelKhana. The investment amount is undisclosed, this is a bridge round to Travelkhana’s Series A round, which is expected to be of about $10 million.

Salil Musale, Promoter of Astarc Ventures says, “Businesses built on basic needs of life are areas of high interest to us – food, clothing, housing, health and the like. Of these, Food is the most basic and more so you really feel the pain when you are in a train and don’t get good food to eat. TravelKhana has done a fabulous job in getting the initial traction and getting a good working model. Now is the time to scale this solution to reach much larger audience, and we are happy to support them in their journey. We like the deep pain point that this company is solving for a large number of middle class passengers, the entrepreneur’s determination, scalable business model, and the current momentum.”

Indian Railways is the largest passenger transport system in the country. The basic need of good quality food at affordable prices is still dream when one travels by train. Thankfully TravelKhana brings you good quality food from handpicked restaurants to your seat!  Even IRCTC is coming up with e-catering facility to help in this regard. And with the new Railway policies announced last week, Travelkhana is actively looking at participating in the Railways system. Travelkhana is building a “Virtual QSR” models on its marketplace with strong quality processes for the restaurants on its marketplace such that it can scale to buses and highways thereby positioning itself as a clear leader in the Food for Travel marketplace model. This model will eventually be applicable to in the city marketplace as well.

Founded by Pushpinder Singh, TravelKhana a Delhi-based company is the market leader in the food on the move delivery segment.  Angel funded previously by investors like Rajan Anandan, Alok  Mittal and Sarbvir Singh, the company has scaled up operations across 160 cities in India, and is serving most long distance trains in the country. Its revenues for FY14-15 stood at 1 Crore.  The Delhi-based company will use funds to expand to 400 stations from 150 by end of 2016 as well as improve back-end technology. Currently, it serves 3,000 passengers a day.

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Puspinder Singh, founder of TravelKhana says, “We are at a stage where we are all set to take off in a big way. With this funding round led by Astarc Ventures, we are confident of building this in to a much larger company. We partnered with Astarc to take their inputs on operational expertise as they come from a deep manufacturing background, apart from their investment.”

Astarc Ventures is a seed fund based in Mumbai and makes investments of average ticket size between INR 1 Crores to 3 Crores in early stage technology ventures, going upto 10 Crores in select outlier deals, which solve a deep pain point or creates cutting edge technology.

The investment in TravelKhana is made via LetsVenture,an online platform for startups and investors to facilitate angel and seed investments. Founded by Shanti Mohan and Sanjay Jha in 2013, LetsVenture has created about 5000+ connections to date. 50 companies have raised funds on LetsVenture, aggregating to nearly $17 million.

As its first investment Astarc Ventures had earlier invested INR 6 Crores in foyr.com- an online automated interior décor company that uses proprietary 3D technology, that helps users create stunning room interiors.

Astarc is interested in investing primarily in seed stage companies -with proof of execution, ability of the team and strength of the offering, all being critical aspects. They would look for a strong team, demonstrating exemplary past execution, recognition and other forms of traction along with business model that is swiftly scalable.

astarcAstarc will not limit itself to a few verticals, but is looking out for smart proactive people with game changing disruptive ideas/ consumer businesses that serve India/Global markets & would love to lead the first round of investment of a startup.  Astarc’s key focus areas include Retail Tech/Analytics, Automotive marketplaces/IoT, 3D printing, Digital Healthcare, Fin Tech amongst other digital/ mobile consumer businesses in any large industry.

Astarc, have put in place robust processes for mentoring their portfolio companies. This involves working with dedicated fund manager, operational team, advisors, domain experts and more crucially, seasoned mentors. They, therefore, offer an entire ecosystem for incubation and growth acceleration to propel your entrepreneurial journey. The fund manager works closely with Advisors to initiate mentoring program, develop networks, customer base and supply chain for our portfolio companies. They have a strong network in various industries that could help in strategic growth of the company – either through advisors or actual business help. The website for the fund is www.astarcventures.com.

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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