Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based meal delivery startup TinMen is ramping up its operations. The company has been serving homemade lunches/dinners to customers in major IT hubs in Hyderabad and is now looking to expand across the city. It plans to expand to other cities such as Bengaluru this year.
It plans to raise Series A funding this year to meet it its expansion needs. Started in August 2015 by Chaitanya Degala and Mukesh Manda, the company offers homemade meals to professionals, with an in-app meal scheduler to make meals easily available for office-goers, while also providing employment opportunity to home-based chefs.
The platform provides the chefs room to experiment. With 100 home-based chefs, the company currently serves 1,500-2,000 meals a day. The company sees 3,000-4,000 active users each month. The chefs prepare and pack the food and dispatch to customers directly. On an average each chef prepares and serves 25-30 meals a day and earns around Rs 30,000 a month. The company takes margins from chefs. The chefs too get a substantial margin which keeps them motivated and be connected with the platform.
TinMen is looking at innovation in packaging and improving delivery efficiencies further. Bridging market gapTinMen co-founder Chaitanya Degala explains, “TinMen has a product that fits into the gap in the online food ordering. We had built our technology in-house and we have learnt from the multiple challenges of the food technology space over the last few years. We had been constantly innovating. We brought out in December a new offering in the form of ‘meal pass’, which essentially a membership option that gives customers meals at a flat rate. We are already getting new customers and the previous customers have also started opting for the meal pass.”
“We wanted to bring out something healthy yet affordable. TinMen wants to become a habit for customers while other competitors could remain indulgence for them. We believe customers schedule their food, so we have modelled our operations around it.” he added.The company’s app allows users to create meal plan for a day, a week or a month and start and opt out of the deliveries at a day’s notice. The app has a built-in wallet and chef reviews. For mid-market companies who want to offer lunch benefits to their employees, TinMen acts as a virtual cafeteria. Companies have the flexibility to choose a budget on TinMen and employees have the advantage of choosing from over 100 cuisine options.
Near-term plansIn the next one year, Degala says, “We would like to take the daily deliveries to 10,000 and to meet such supply requirement, we will have at least 1,000 chefs on board.” He added, “We currently cater to customers who are between Begumpet and the Financial District. We also cater to Kukatpally, Miyapur, Chandanagar and Manikonda. We had been focusing on office-going population and the areas we currently cater to covers 80-85 per cent of that population. We currently are serving to meet the week-day requirement and going forward may look at tapping week-end orders as well.”
FundingThe company had raised funds from angel investors from Lead Angel Network (based out of 3-4 cities in India), Corvus Ventures and has Zomato as a strategic partner. Lead Angel Network invested during early 2016 and the remaining investments happened in 2017.TinMen is looking to raise Series A funding in 2018. The fresh funding will go into new products, technology enhancements to the platform and foray into new geographies.With home-cooks available across cities, they just need an access to such platforms, he points out. The company will look at cities where the model will see a best fitment.