thefirstmeal

Update: A spokesperson from The First (TFM) said that Hello Curry will look to enter the subscription based delivery service by leveraging TFM’s operations and resources. While TFM will use Hello Curry’s infrastructure to expand its supply chain. However, TFM will also continue to operate its business as an independent brand.

Hyderabad based food delivery startup Hello Curry has acquired The First Meal (TFM) in a cash and stock deal, the latter confirmed to MediaNama. A Livemint report states that the acquisition will help Hello Curry to enter breakfast and meal-box delivery section. It also looks to strengthen its operations in Hyderabad through the acquisition

It is not clear if TFM will continue to serve its customers independently after this acquisition. It is also not clear if Hello Curry is leveraging TFM’s partner kitchens for preparing food, etc. MediaNama has written to both companies for clarifications and will update the story once we hear from them.

The First Meal delivers food meal-boxes to users who make on-demand orders through its website and Android, iOS and Windows apps. TFM has collaborated with private kitchens to prepare the food and delivers them.

Hello Curry offers an Indian food menu and claims to have around 33 different outlet stores across Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore. Users can also make orders from its online website and a mobile app available for Android users. The startup was founded in 2013 by Sandeep Penmatsa, and Raju Bhupati.

Funding: Last month, Hello Curry had raised $1.5 million in bridge funding led by Sashi Reddi and an undisclosed High Net Worth Individual. At that time, the company said that it will use new capital to upgrade its current menu, and delivery mechanisms, and to open new stores in Pune, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada.

Previous acquisitions: In June 2015 Hello Curry acquired cloud-based restaurant management platform Fire42 in a stock and cash deal. According to the company, Fire42’s solutions will help it with analytics, marketing and operational tools, etc. In May 2015, it  acquired the online food ordering and delivery service Paratha Post, in an all cash and stock deal. At the time of writing, Paratha Post continued to retain an independent existence, with only a banner on the website mentioning the acquisition.

IRCTC tie up: In November last year, Hello Curry tied up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to provide meal options for railway passengers during their journeys, starting with the Secunderabad station. At that time, Hello Curry’s menu was planned to be offered for passengers in Delhi, Bangalore, Vizag and Pune.

Recent developments in online food ordering:

– This month, app-based food delivery startup, Faasos had started aggregating restaurants and chefs around neighborhoods to increase their menu offering.

-In the same month, Zomato had launched Zomato Base, its point of sale software, starting with 35 outlets of The Beer Cafe. In February, Zomato said that it has broken-even in high priority markets: India, Philippines, Indonesia and UAE, Lebanon and Qatar in the Middle East.

-Last month, Foodpanda launched an “Express Guarantee” service that promises its customers a refund if it fails to deliver an order within 45 minutes.

-In January, Swiggy raised Series C funding worth $35 million from Harmony Partners and Singapore based RB investments and existing investors SAIF Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.

-In the same month, Bangalore-based FreshMenu, an online first restaurant, has raised Rs 110 crore (~$16.5M) in a round of funding led by Zodius Capital, and from existing investor Lightspeed Venture Partners.