IAN Leads INR 4.11 Cr Seed Round in Cheelizza

The company will focus on rapidly expanding their presence in Mumbai by opening 20 new stores in the next 12 months.

Mumbai-based Cheelizza – India Ka Pizza, a pure vegetarian pizza chain from Mumbai, has raised INR 4.11 crore in a seed round led by the Indian Angel Network (IAN). The round was led by IAN Investors Hari Balasubramanian, Uday Chatterjee, Deval Tibrewal and Rajeev Sarda. Co-investors Sagar Daryani, Founder of Wow! Momo, Karan Tanna, Founder of Ghost Kitchens, and Rahul Surana Principal at an international fund also participated in the round.

A bootstrapped business until now, operating 10 stores across Mumbai & Gujarat, Cheelizza will focus on rapidly expanding their presence in Mumbai by opening 20 new stores in the next 12 months. The homegrown pizza chain is already hiring talent across senior leadership roles in Business, Operations, HR, Marketing, along with 100+ team members for their frontline store operations.

Incepted in 2013, Cheelizza is the brainchild of its founder & CEO, Animesh Lodha, who left his job at Edelweiss to start this entrepreneurial journey. A one-of-its-kind, ‘Cheelizza – India Ka Pizza’ is “India’s earliest and fastest growing Vegetarian Pizza Chain” focused on targeting vegetarians across the country.

Mr. Animesh Lodha, Founder, Cheelizza, said, “We have been operating in stealth mode over the last 10 years, focused on building the business on strong fundamentals. We have had a 10x revenue growth and have clocked 20%+ store level ebitda. We currently sell over 30k+ Pizzas per month with an over 50% repeat order rate. Cheelizza is the first step towards building a Portfolio of Pure Vegetarian Food brands offering an alternative choice to a large Vegetarian population. Over the next 10 years, we will be working on building an Indian Pure Veg Platform built on strong fundamentals of high value, higher quality & highest trust & take it global. We are very grateful to IAN for supporting us and helping us on our growth journey. We will use this capital to hyperscale our business & expand geographically.

Hari Balasubramanian, Lead Investor at IAN said, “Cheelizza is uniquely positioned as a pure vegetarian brand and has a vision to become a global pure vegetarian food platform to serve customers across the globe. Animesh and his team are go-getters and we are extremely confident that they would be able to build a portfolio of pure vegetarian food brands which will emerge as a category leader in the QSR space.”

Cheelizza currently has 10 stores, out of which 3 are operated via a franchising model. Furthermore, as a part of its expansion strategy, the company will soon enter the Bangalore and Pune markets and plans to open 20 stores next year.

About IAN

Indian Angel Network is India’s first and world’s largest business angel network with close to 500 members across the world, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs. With investors from 12 countries, IAN’s presence spans 7 locations, which includes cities in India and the UK. The network is sector agnostic and has funded start-ups across 19 sectors in India and 7 other countries growing global footprint companies. With an excellent track record, IAN has been giving excellent cash exits year-on-year to its investor members, for the last 12 years. Some of its marquee investee companies include Druva, Spinny, Box8, Uniphore, Wow! Momo, Consure, Fareye, NOCCARC, Propelld, Skit.ai amongst many others.

IAN Fund, an INR 375 crore VC fund is a uniquely differentiated seed/early stage Fund that aims to transform India’s entrepreneurial landscape. The fund invests in innovative companies in sectors including healthcare and medical devices, VR, AI, software as a service, marketplaces, fin-tech, big data, artificial intelligence, agritech, and hardware. With this, IAN has created the single largest platform for seed and early-stage investing, enabling entrepreneurs to raise from Rs. 25 lakhs to Rs. 50 crores.

About ‘Cheelizza – India Ka Pizza’

‘Cheelizza – India Ka Pizza’ is the first pure vegetarian Pizza chain which started its journey in 2013. It was the first pizza company sensitive to the pure vegetarian community against the popular belief of pizza being perceived as a non-vegetarian delight. The brand has grown from strength to strength from 30L MRR to 1.4Cr.+. They are currently operating 10 stores and have a target of 100 stores by end of 2025. They aim to become a Global Indian Vegetarian Food Service Platform and cater to the global need for vegetarian delights. In that direction, they have also taken exclusive distribution rights of Sweetish House Mafia, a gourmet cookie brand, and are also launching Country’s first Pure Veg Biryani Brand “Biryani Can” on World Veg Day – 1st October 2022.





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