Venture Catalysts, India’s first and largest integrated incubator and accelerator, and 9Unicorns, India’s first idea-phase accelerator VC fund, has announced an undisclosed seed investment in Waffle House, one of the first brands to Introduce waffles in the country in 2014. The funding will enable Waffle House to embark on its journey to build the largest Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brand in the baking and confectionery space.
Started in 2014 by Harsh Gadia and Nidhi Gadia, Waffle House has come a long way from offline QSR to Online D2C.The brand which had over 25 outlets before March 2020, witnessed a setback during the Covid, which made them reinvent itself to the model of “Waffle House 2.0”, a D2C brand with innovative products like Waffle Cookies, Chips & Chocolates. From a Single Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) in September 2020, they now have over 150+ SKUs serving across categories such as breakfast, coffee, healthy snacks, and handmade chocolates, among others.
Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Founder & President at Venture Catalysts / 9Unicorns, said, “The Food and Beverage (F&B) industry in India is one of the fastest-growing segments and is expected to touch $100Billion by 2025. The reinvigorated D2C model of Waffle House with its core competency in providing unique offerings would definitely occupy consumer mind space and we are delighted to back their vision.”
Harsh Gadia – Co-Founder, Waffle House, added, “Waffle House has transitioned from a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) to a D2C model, and plans to expand its product offerings & Distribution with this fundraise from Venture Catalysts and 9Unicorns. Product innovation has been our core strength and this model has enabled us to offer a wider range of unique products and flavours to our customers just like we did with waffles.”
Waffle House is also in the process of re-branding itself with a new name and identity that showcases its wide range of products, beyond waffles.