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Processed foods

Wipro owner buys $25 million stake in ready-to-cook food company (2)

INDIA - Premji Invest, the investment arm of Wipro billionaire Azim Premji, has infused $25 million (Rs 170 crore) into Bengaluru-based food company ID Fresh Foods that has popularised ready-to-cook products, including idly and dosa batter, chapatis and Malabar parotas.

Premji Invest has acquired a 25% stake in the company, valuing it at over $100 million.

Two years ago, venture capital firm Helion Ventures had picked up a similar stake in the company for Rs 35 crore.

School dropout Mustafa PC started selling dosa batter from a shop run by his cousins in 2006, that morphed into ID Fresh Foods in 2008.

Mustafa tapped into market potential for ready-to-cook products as busy professionals were increasingly time constrained to prepare fresh batter for making idlys and dosas at home.

The company has seven factories across the country , and one in Sharjah in the UAE.

Premji Invest did not respond to TOI's email query on the funding, while Mustafa did not respond to calls and text messages. MAPE Advisory Group is the adviser to the transaction.

The initial success of the Bengaluru-firm stoked Mustafa's ambition to expand beyond Bengaluru into other cities, including Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The company is learnt to have clocked Rs 100 crore in revenue for the 2015-16 financial year, said sources.

With the new round of funding, the company is looking to grow its national footprint and expand its product portfolio.

Over the last few months, ID has introduced curd and paneer as part of its offerings and it's also planning to launch vada and rava idly batter soon.

The 71-year-old Premji's investment firm manages assets worth over $2 billion with investments in about 50 publicly traded and privately held companies.

January 20, 2017; http://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/food-entertainment/food-services/azim-premji-buys-25-million-stake-in-ready-to-cook-food-company/56625025