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  • The Baker’s Dozen raises USD 5 million in pre-series A round led by Fireside Ventures

    Published on July 6, 2022

    • India’s fastest-growing D2C bakery brand, aims to put a sourdough in every Indian home
    • Funds to be used for product development, brand marketing initiatives, team building and glocal expansion
    • Slated to expand to 50 cities across India and also enter into export markets,  aiming to reach 5x growth in the next 18-24 months
    • Investment marks Fireside Ventures’ first entry into the D2C Baking & Confectionery space

    India’s leading homegrown artisan bakery The Baker’s Dozen (TBD), announced today that it has raised USD 5 million of funding including debt. Marquee consumer VC fund, Fireside Ventures led the equity investment, marking its first presence in the D2C Baking & Confectionery space with TBD. TBD will use this new influx of capital to further key product innovation, team building, brand marketing efforts, distribution expansion, and in upgrading the company’s tech play. Part of the amount raised will further be utilized for capital expenditure and to increase production capacity to match the increasing product demand.

    The investment will also help the brand strengthen its Indian presence by amplifying its reach in tier I and tier II cities, followed by an international expansion across the Middle-East and subsequently across Southeast Asian markets.

    TBD has grown 5x achieving sales of INR 30 Cr in 2021-22, fast becoming the preferred national bakery brand across e-commerce and Q-commerce marketplaces, servicing over 3 lakh orders month on month. It has grown very capital efficiently, being EBITDA positive the last two years. With the aim of marking 5x growth in the 18-24 months, the company is currently in the process of expanding their distribution footprint through more than 100 own stores and 1000 retail touchpoints across 25 cities in India.

    TBD is also recognised as one of India’s first phygital retail bakery brands, providing unique interactive experiences for its customers by bridging the gap between a digital and physical world. The brand has built a huge sense of community by bringing the best of a physical customer experience to the digital realm and vice-versa – via its application, AR packaging, in-store tech integration and much more. Combining innovative tech solutions at the back-end such as AI backed demand estimation and ERP for SKU level traceability with community-focused marketing efforts to support their D2C expansion, TBD has successfully managed to stay ahead of the curve.

    Aditi Handa, Co-founder and Head Baker, The Baker’s Dozen mentions, “We must understand that bakery goods are now more commonly consumed daily as opposed to simply being a treat, and TBD is as much of a millennial favorite as it is a mother’s trusted choice.  [email protected] is our ‘mantra’ and we are best known for putting the widest variety of 100% whole wheat, preservative-free sourdough breads on the Indian map. Having sold over a million+ sourdoughs already, our diverse portfolio of handcrafted breads, teatime cakes, cookies, snacks and premixes fill a distinctive need gap for our customers who find our brand aspirational yet accessible. With a razor-sharp focus on product and shelf-life innovation, and by using high quality, local ingredients, we are able to drive rapid growth by creating products that can easily adapt to their rapidly changing lifestyles and demands. We find great pride in being able to offer extensive variety and artisan quality at scale, while also establishing a strong bond with the end consumer. This makes us confident we will soon realize our ambition to put a sourdough in every Indian home!”

    Prayag Mohanty, Principal, Fireside Ventures, who will also be joining The Bakers Dozen as a board member, said, “Our decision to invest in The Baker’s Dozen (TBD), is backed by our fund thesis of looking for innovative white spaces within the overall D2C products space. TBD brings in the packaged version of artisanal bakery products which is addressing a huge market backed by technology innovations around processing and packaging at the backend.

    It is this combination of safe, healthy and delicious baked long shelf life products which led us to making this investment in TBD. Both Sneh and Aditi have an excellent understanding of the consumer wants and preferences from a health and lifestyle axis and have invested significantly in building out a tech-enabled and scalable back-end processing coupled with strong supply chain linkages. The focus on the phy-gital bakery model driven by a combination of dark & brand stores makes this very scalable, driven by an engaging experience for consumers who switch between offline and online buying. We welcome TBD to the Fireside portfolio and we are excited to lend our support to the founders as they go on to build a leading artisanal packaged bakery food brand from India to the world.”

    Commenting on the fund raise, Sneh Jain, Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Baker’s Dozen said, “TBD has been a bootstrapped business grown steadily and with a strong foundation. That strong base has helped our rapid growth over the last two years, and we felt that it was the right time for us to choose a partner who could not only help us scale our business via capital infusion, but also through mentorship and guidance. Having had the privilege of Kanwal as a mentor for us over the last few years, Fireside was undoubtedly our first choice to collaborate with, given their background in scaling consumer brands and that they were already TBD customers!”

    He further adds, “Post this raise, TBD will focus on strengthening brand awareness and fortifying marketing and distribution efforts (both online and offline) across geographies. Our aim is to reach 5x growth over the next 18-24 months by becoming the default bakery partner for a household across all meals starting from breakfast to post dinner cravings. In addition to our local growth, we also plan to expand to the Middle East, starting with a targeted B2C presence in Dubai. Backed by our industry-first innovations across packaging, supply chain and demand estimation, we will also tailor our product portfolio to match the needs of different channels such as our own stores, quick commerce partners and trade partners. ”

    The Indian bakery market stood at a value of nearly USD 7.6 billion in 2020. Market research suggests that it is further estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2021 and 2026 to reach a value of USD 12.4 billion by 2026.

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