The deal is part of a $125 million funding round for the company. The business has a valuation of around $525 million and delivers food items to people all over India.
Sequoia, Goldman Sachs and Gojek all participated in the round, and Rebel Foods plans to expand into more areas with the new capital.
Cloud kitchens have become a popular business model in India, because of the relatively lower overhead. There are no traditional restaurant staffing costs, and the kitchens don’t need to be located in heavy foot-trafficked areas with higher rent.
Since he was removed from Uber, Kalanick started his investment fund and has begun working on a kitchen rental service called CloudKitchens. His name cache and investment are helpful to Rebel because of his past history turning a little fleet of cabs into one of the most famous companies in the world — Uber.
Rebel serves food through a network of “virtual restaurants” that are only available on the internet. It has upwards of 250 cloud kitchens in around 22 Indian cities, and it wants to expand that number to 400 by the end of March 2020.
However, the virtual kitchen space in India is crowded and full of competition. Another popular delivery company in India, Swiggy, is also working on building a network of virtual kitchens. It’s backed by companies like Naspers and Tencent Holding. Uber is already doing something similar, delivering from phantom kitchens. Amazon has been looking into the industry and will no doubt leverage its logistics insights and strengths when it decides to move forward.