Cloud kitchen brand Rebel Foods on Thursday became the latest Internet firm to join the growing league of India’s unicorns, after raising $175 million in funding led by Qatar Investment Authority at a valuation of $1.4 billion. Existing investors Coatue and Evolvence also participated in the firm’s series F funding round. The company said it is working towards an initial public offering (IPO) in the next 18-24 months.

Rebel Foods is the third start-up to turn unicorn this week after meat and seafood brand Licious and cryptocurrency exchange platform CoinSwitch Kuber. This puts India’s total unicorn count at 31 in 2021.

The company will use the capital to widen its international footprint, build on technological capabilities and acquire new food brands. Founded in 2011 by Jaydeep Barman and Kallol Banerjee, Rebel Foods pivoted to a cloud kitchen format in 2015. It currently operates more than 45 food brands across 10 countries, including Faasos, Behrouz Biryani and Ovenstory.

With the pandemic boosting demand for cloud kitchens and delivery only brands, investor appetite for internet restaurant businesses has gained momentum.

“The food-tech space has evolved towards better personalisation, innovation and complete transparency, which Rebel Foods continues to pioneer. With this round of funding, we will continue to serve newer customer food missions powered by technology and automation,” chief strategy officer Ravi Golani said in a statement.

Rebel Foods claims to be steadily moving towards profitability with an annual run rate or sales run rate of $150 million, a 100% year-on-year growth. Last year, the firm took over the India franchise of US burger brand Wendy’s.

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