Bengaluru-headquartered B2B food tech startup HungerBox has raised $4.5 million in its Series A investment round led by South Korea-based investment firm Neoplux and India-focussed PE fund Sabre Partners, with participation from Lionrock Capital (Singapore) and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan.

The investments come about a fortnight after Bengaluru-based food delivery startup Swiggy raised $210 million in its latest round of funding from Naspers and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner's DST Global, along with others. With this round, Swiggy has become the latest entrant into India’s coveted unicorn club of startups that have a valuation of $1 billion or more.

HungerBox, which started in 2016, operates across Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi/NCR, Jaipur, and Kolkata. Its tech-led solution enables end-to-end digital cafeteria management with its proprietary technology platform connecting food vendors to employees within client organisations through a customised mobile app. Using the app, employees can view the F&B menu provided by all enlisted food vendors at their workplace café’s, place orders, and track delivery accurately. They can also provide ratings and feedback.

The funds raised will be deployed to support HungerBox’s rapid growth in India as well as fuel the company’s expansion into the South East Asian market.

“HungerBox has emerged as a clear No. 1 in India’s high-growth B2B food tech space. The strength of their technology-led solution, deep penetration into large corporate accounts and carefully calibrated growth means their business is extremely robust,” said Alex Noh, head of cross-border investment, Neoplux, in a statement.

HungerBox clocks more than six million orders a month across over 160 digital cafeterias that it currently manages around the country for corporations, including Qualcomm, Microsoft, FirstSource, Accenture, CapGemini, Genpact, ABB, and McKinsey.

“The ‘asset-light’ nature of HungerBox’s model and use of technology enables scale. The company’s solution has been proven at some of the biggest corporations in India. There is great potential to grow in other markets, especially elsewhere in the region as their clients’ own operations expand,” said Rajiv Maliwal, founder and managing partner, Sabre Partners.

HungerBox is promoted by GrowthStory, the venture-builder platform founded by serial entrepreneurs K. Ganesh and Meena Ganesh.

According to estimates, spending on F&B in the B2B space alone is estimated to reach $14 billion in India in 2018 with the sector growing at 15% per annum.

The F&B delivery space has seen another transaction last week. United Spirits Ltd, a Bengaluru-headquartered alcoholic beverages company, acquired a 26% stake in Hip Bar for Rs 27 crore to drive sales through the e-commerce route. Through its mobile wallet and delivery app, Hip Bar allows a customer to pick products from a range of alcoholic beverages. The product is either delivered at their doorstep or can be picked up by the customer from a retail store of their convenience.

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