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Kitchens@ Secures $65 Million in C Series Funding from Finnest

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Kitchens@, a leading powerhouse in the dynamic cloud kitchen industry, is thrilled to announce the successful acquisition of $65 million in funding from Finnest, an emerging growth investment firm headquartered in London. Significantly, Swiggy played a pivotal role as a major investor in Kitchens@ during the Series B funding round. Notably, Finnest (A BNP Company), founded by two visionary Indian-origin investors and entrepreneurs, Dr. Biswanath Patnaik and Mr. Arun Kar (Ex Military) Finnest has previously made strategic investments across diverse sectors, including renewable energy, EV- Hydrogen automotives, sports & entertainment, smart cities, aerospace technologies, hotels and hospitality . The COO of Finnest, Mr.Arun Suraj has been the Lead Partner in this round of investment and the catalyst in their debut foray into the ever-evolving Food and Beverage industry.

Two visionaries forging a path to redefine the future of dining and investment – Dr. Biswanath Patnaik and Junaiz Kizhakkayil

Dr. Biswanath Patnaik expressed his confidence in Kitchens@, stating, ” Kitchens@ has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of the cloud kitchen segment in India, emerging as a key player in the Food and Supply Aggregator sector. Our confidence in the future of this venture is unwavering, thanks to the astute leadership of our Founder and CEO, Mr. Junaiz Kizhakkayil. Anticipating a substantial business turnaround in the coming years, especially with strategic partnerships in place with major entities like Swiggy and Beenext.”

Junaiz Kizhakkayil (JK), the Founder & CEO of Kitchens@, reflected on the company’s journey, saying, “Our path over the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. We’ve encountered numerous challenges but have steadfastly upheld our vision and goals. It is immensely gratifying to have earned the trust of prominent investors like Finnest. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Biswanath Patnaik , Mr. Arun kar and Mr. Arun Suraj for believing in our growth strategy.”

JK elaborated on their restaurant roll-up plan, emphasizing the wealth of brand equity present within the Indian market. He stated, “The establishment of these brands has been a laborious journey, with dedicated individuals investing their hard-earned resources, time, and unwavering commitment. Today, we witness several such brands with the potential not only to dominate the Indian market but also to make a significant impact on the global stage.”

Drawing from his three decades of experience in the industry, JK stressed the importance of founder DNA and belief in the product for a brand’s success. He added, “Our restaurant roll-up plan is founded on these principles, and I am proud to say that we have established strong alignments with nearly all major brands. This presents a substantial opportunity for us and our investors to create something truly extraordinary.”

He went on to highlight the allocation of the raised funds for expanding their hybrid model, Dinerium. JK described Dinerium as a transformative dining experience that seamlessly combines offline and online elements, offering a diverse selection of premier brands right at patrons’ tables. He emphasized how corporate meetings and meaningful connections would now be fostered over exquisite meals, marking a departure from conventional norms.

In an impressive development earlier this year, Kitchens@ acquired Swiggy Access Kitchen, expanded its footprint to six major cities and 45 locations, boasting a network of 700 kitchens.

The future is indeed promising for Kitchens@ as they embark on their exciting journey with Finnest’s support.

About Finnest:

Finnest ( A BNP Group Company) is a UK-based growth investment firm that specializes in early-stage investments, supporting technology startups in areas such as banking, healthcare, consumer products, fintech, renewables, and enterprises committed to a brighter future. Finnest is led by a team of seasoned partners with deep domain expertise and global networks. Finnest prioritizes selectivity, becoming strategic partners who provide value beyond just financial capital.

Finnest specializes in early-stage investments, supporting technology startups in areas such as banking, healthcare, consumer products, fintech, renewables, and enterprises committed to a brighter future. They prioritize selectivity, becoming strategic partners who provide value beyond just financial backing. Their key focus areas include renewable energy, smart cities, EVs, healthcare, deep tech, fintech, and consumer marketplaces. Finnest is dedicated to driving innovation and progress in the entrepreneurial landscape.

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Funding

Climate-smart Deeptech Company Ecozen Raises $30 M

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Ecozen, a leader in climate-smart technology solutions, announced that it has raised USD 30 million in a mix of debt and equity. This infusion of capital includes continued support from Nuveen and other existing equity investors, and new debt support from InCred Credit Fund and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) through Ecozen’s exclusive advisor Setuka Partners LLP.

The latest round of funding will be used to cater to the growing demand for Ecozen’s innovative products and to further its commitment to climate-smart technology. The company has grown 5X over the last two years, with profits growing 3X as well. Ecozen anticipates doubling its revenue in the current fiscal year, buoyed by strong demand for existing products and plans to leverage its tech stack of advanced motors and controls, thermal energy storage, AI and IoT to enter new segments undergoing a transition to cleaner energy sources. These solutions will decarbonise sectors like milling, mobility, retail and industry, just as the company’s pumping and cooling solutions did for agriculture. The company is also set to meaningfully expand its offerings and market presence into Africa and Southeast Asia.

Ecozen has made solar-powered systems a viable solution for small and marginal farmers in India. Over the past decade, its pioneering products – Ecotron and Ecofrost – have transformed the agricultural irrigation and cold chain industries respectively. Utilising advanced motor controls, IoT, and energy storage technologies, these modular, clean energy innovations have not only boosted the incomes of over 180,000 farmers but have also cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million tonnes and prevented more than 50,000 metric tons of food loss. 

“Ecozen is on an accelerated growth path, driven by the increased market demand for our pioneering climate-smart solutions,” said Devendra Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder of Ecozen. “The capital raised will enable us to scale our operations and deepen our market penetration in domestic and international territories. We are committed to empowering customers and expediting the transition to climate-smart technologies on a global scale. I thank our investors, Nuveen and other existing equity investors, for their continued support which will help us cater to the present opportunity. We are also happy to have institutions like the DFC and InCred partner with us in our journey of catalysing climate-smart solutions for agriculture and other key sectors in the future.”

“Supporting companies like Ecozen aligns perfectly with Nuveen’s commitment to invest in businesses that have a profound impact on climate change mitigation and resilience,” said Rekha Unnithan, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity Impact Investing at Nuveen. “Ecozen’s continued growth and innovation exemplify the type of transformative impact we aim to achieve through our investments, paving the way for a sustainable and inclusive low-carbon economy.”

“We like Ecozen’s proven product and execution track record, and the way it has transformed the lives of farmers in India. With the government of India’s push on sustainable, climate friendly initiatives, we feel the company is poised for profitable growth,” said Saurabh Jhalaria, CIO – Alternative Credit Strategies at Incred Alternative Investments. “The opportunity in India and other developing markets is huge and we are excited to partner with Ecozen in its growth journey. The investment ties up well with our fund’s thesis on innovative cleantech solutions that can reach the masses.”

“DFC is pleased to be supporting an innovative and impactful project with Ecozen that aligns with our priorities of investing in climate adaptation solutions and improving agricultural productivity. This is a highly significant transaction that will improve production, reduce food loss, and decrease emissions in India,” said James Polan, DFC’s Vice President of Health & Agribusiness.

.  . .

About Ecozen:

Ecozen develops climate-smart deeptech solutions and core technology stacks to deliver a sustainable future, including motor controls, IoT, and energy storage. For more information, please visit www.ecozensolutions.com.

About Nuveen:

Nuveen, the investment manager of TIAA, offers a comprehensive range of outcome-focused investment solutions designed to secure the long-term financial goals of institutional and individual investors. Nuveen has $1.2 trillion in assets under management as of 31 March 2024 and operations in 32 countries. Its investment specialists offer deep expertise across a comprehensive range of traditional and alternative investments through a wide array of vehicles and customised strategies.

About U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC):

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. DFC invests across sectors including energy, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, and small business and financial services. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights. 

About Incred:

InCred Alternative Investments manages strategies including private credit, absolute return, hedge fund and private equity. Its private credit strategy manages more than Rs 1,000cr across two of its funds. The credit funds invest across high growth sectors, namely financial institutions & platforms, B2B, consumer, cleantech, healthcare and industrials.

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Funding

Saad Kassis Mohamed led WeCare Raises $350000 for Lab-Grown Diamonds

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Saad Kassis Mohamed, leading WeCare, proudly announces a milestone
achievement with the successful raise of $350,000 dedicated to accelerating innovation in the lab-grown diamond

Saad Kassis Mohamed, leading WeCare, proudly announces a milestone
achievement with the successful raise of $350,000 dedicated to accelerating innovation in the lab-grown diamond sector. This significant funding marks a pivotal moment in the foundation’s commitment to fostering sustainability and advancement within the industry.
Building upon the success of pioneering funding models in natural diamonds and coloured
gemstones, Saad Kassis Mohamed spearheads WeCare’s latest initiative aimed at bolstering research and development in lab-grown diamonds.

Through strategic collaborations with esteemed research
institutions and industry leaders, this innovative funding model is meticulously tailored to empower emerging researchers, startups, and mid-sized players in the lab-grown diamond arena.
Lab-grown diamond productions, including run-of-mine (ROM) diamonds, delivered to designated facilities under Saad Kassis Mohamed’s guidance at WeCare Foundation, undergo thorough valuation by accredited experts. Leveraging WeCare Foundation’s proprietary valuation methods, these productions are meticulously assessed for their market potential and quality.
WeCare Foundation is steadfast in its commitment to combating child labour within the diamond industry. Recognizing the importance of ethical sourcing and fair labour practices, WeCare is dedicated to ensuring that its initiatives uphold the highest standards of social responsibility. WeCare strives to create a future where every diamond is sourced and produced ethically, free from the taint of child exploitation.
“WeCare Foundation is committed to fostering innovation and sustainability in the lab-grown
diamond industry. By providing access to tailored funding solutions and market opportunities, we aim to empower small to mid-sized players to thrive in this rapidly evolving sector,” states Saad Kassis Mohamed.
The demand for lab-grown diamonds is steadily increasing, with Teji Mandi’s findings suggesting that it is expected to reach 160 million carats by 2030, signifying the growing acceptance of lab-grown diamonds in Asia.
The funding initiative garnered participation from Red Capital along with individual backers,
underscoring the widespread support and confidence in WeCare Foundation’s mission to drive
innovation and sustainability in the lab-grown diamond sector.
Through this innovative funding model, WeCare seeks to address the financial challenges faced by participants in the lab-grown diamond industry, facilitating growth, innovation, and sustainability for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.

This significant funding marks a pivotal moment in the foundation’s commitment to fostering sustainability and advancement within the industry.
Building upon the success of pioneering funding models in natural diamonds and coloured
gemstones, Saad Kassis Mohamed spearheads WeCare’s latest initiative aimed at bolstering research and development in lab-grown diamonds. Through strategic collaborations with esteemed research institutions and industry leaders, this innovative funding model is meticulously tailored to empower emerging researchers, startups, and mid-sized players in the lab-grown diamond arena.
Lab-grown diamond productions, including run-of-mine (ROM) diamonds, delivered to designated facilities under Saad Kassis Mohamed’s guidance at WeCare Foundation, undergo thorough valuation by accredited experts. Leveraging WeCare Foundation’s proprietary valuation methods, these productions are meticulously assessed for their market potential and quality.
WeCare Foundation is steadfast in its commitment to combating child labour within the diamond industry. Recognizing the importance of ethical sourcing and fair labour practices, WeCare is dedicated to ensuring that its initiatives uphold the highest standards of social responsibility. WeCare strives to create a future where every diamond is sourced and produced ethically, free from the taint of child exploitation.
“WeCare Foundation is committed to fostering innovation and sustainability in the lab-grown
diamond industry. By providing access to tailored funding solutions and market opportunities, we aim to empower small to mid-sized players to thrive in this rapidly evolving sector,” states Saad Kassis Mohamed.
The demand for lab-grown diamonds is steadily increasing, with Teji Mandi’s findings suggesting that it is expected to reach 160 million carats by 2030, signifying the growing acceptance of lab-grown diamonds in Asia.
The funding initiative garnered participation from Red Capital along with individual backers,
underscoring the widespread support and confidence in WeCare Foundation’s mission to drive
innovation and sustainability in the lab-grown diamond sector.
Through this innovative funding model, WeCare seeks to address the financial challenges faced by participants in the lab-grown diamond industry, facilitating growth, innovation, and sustainability for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.

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Funding

Used by Spotify and Logitech, HR & Fintech Startup RemotePass Raises $5.5M in Series A funding

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RemotePass series a funding

RemotePass, an HR and fintech platform that helps companies onboard, manage, pay, and retain remote workers, has secured $5.5 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by 212 VC with participation from investors in the US, Europe, and the Middle East, including Endeavor Catalyst, Khwarizmi Ventures, Oraseya Capital, Flyer One Ventures, Access Bridge Ventures, A15, and Swiss Founders Fund.

With this funding, RemotePass’s total capital raised has surpassed $10 million, adding to previous investments from BECO Capital, Wamda Capital, Plug & Play, and Flat6Labs.

“Witnessing RemotePass’s remarkable product growth and stellar customer service since early 2023 has solidified our belief in their visionary team and business model,” says Ali Hikmet Karabey, managing director at 212 VC, the round’s lead investor.

“By addressing today’s workforce challenges like talent mobility and remote work, RemotePass stands out as a key enabler,” he says. “It connects companies seeking a broader talent pool with emerging market talents who previously lacked access to global financial solutions and processes.”

Founded by Kamal Reggad and Karim Nadi, RemotePass serves a range of clients, from startups to large enterprises like Spotify, Logitech, Paymentology. It helps them onboard, manage, and pay their talent base in countries where they don’t have a local legal presence. RemotePass’s clients can hire full-time employees and contractors in over 150 countries.

“Our platform helps democratize access to global opportunities, leveling the playing field for skilled individuals and enabling them to compete in a global job marketplace,” says Kamal Reggad, CEO and co-founder at RemotePass. “This funding fuels our mission to empower countless lives and help global teams succeed.”

The RemotePass app offers access to a range of financial services and benefits tailored to the needs of remote workers, including multiple payout options, a USD debit card, as well as perks like health insurance. Apart from an end-to-end contractor management platform, RemotePass provides businesses with EoR services and relocation support.

“This oversubscribed funding round is a testament to the company’s robust financials, strong team, and high growth potential,” says Wamda Capital founder Fadi Ghandour. “What impressed us most at Wamda, and what confirmed our decision to back Reggad and his team since inception, is his entrepreneurial capability, which he demonstrated during the difficult days of the pandemic when he pivoted the company and subsequently built a great startup.”

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