India-based ghost kitchen operator Rebel Foods announced this week it has raised $50 million in fresh funding from NY-based hedge fund Coatue Management. The new investment is part of an ongoing Series E round, according to AgFunder News.
As cloud kitchen networks go, Rebel Foods is Old Guard compared to newer entrants like Kitchen United and Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens. Rebel was founded in 2010 and launched as quick-service chain kebab chain Faasos in 2011, and as of last check was targeting a $1 billion valuation.
Rebel currently operates over 300 cloud kitchens across 35 Indian Cities and says it processes over 2 million orders per month. Faasos still operates as a restaurant brand within those kitchens, alongside other Rebel-owned virtual restaurants. Customers can order and pay for food through Rebel’s own app, and all meals are prepared in Rebel kitchens and delivered straight to customers.
In the Indian food delivery market, Rebel competes with both Swiggy and Zomato, the latter of which also operates its own ghost kitchens. Until recently, Uber Eats was also a competitor, and its exit from the Indian market has left the landscape even more consolidated and competitive.
India’s entire population of 1.3 billion people is currently on lockdown in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, and demand for food delivery has skyrocketed in response. Rebel’s network of virtual restaurants is well suited to meet that demand. Since Rebel doesn’t operate any brick-and-mortar with actual sit-down space, the company isn’t taking a hit from forced business closures happening across the country, either.
In August, the company raised $125 million in funding from Coatue Management, Goldman Sachs, Indonesian delivery service Gojek and other investors. With Gojek, it plans to open cloud kitchens in Indonesia over the next 18 months. The company is also expanding to the United Arab Emirates.