Milk Mantra, an Odisha-based agri start-up, is looking at raising Rs 200 crore from venture capitalists and private equity investors to finance its expansion. The company manufactures milk, butter milk, curd and milk shake under the Milky Moo brand.
“We are scaling up our business to reach out to entire India with new products. For this, we are likely to raise Rs 200 crore in the next 12-18 months,” Srikumar Misra, founder & managing director of Milk Mantra, told ET.
The start-up, backed by Fidelity Growth Partners, has already made a foray in the dairy-based functional health category with a ready-to-drink milk beverage MooShake, which is blended with curcumin (an extract from turmeric), in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
“Till date, we have been an eastern India player with major presence in Odisha, Ranchi, Jamsshedpur and Kolkata. But now we are planning to become a panIndia player,” said Misra, who left his job at Tata Administrative Services in London to launch Milk Mantra in 2009.
Compared to its other products such as Milky Moo milk, paneer and yoghurt, MooShake has a longer shelf-life of around three months. “Functional health category is an evolving category in India because consumers want more than the basic milk. Urban India is getting exposed to the exciting and engaging food brands. So, we have to be innovative. Today’s consumers are looking at milk beverages with better nutrition and which are good for health.The initial feedback of MooShake has been quite encouraging,” Misra said.
Currently, milk shake is estimated to be a Rs 1,000 crore category in India. There are many local players in this segment apart from bigger brands like Amul, Nestle and Britannia. The size of the dairy market in India is pegged at $40 billion and is dominated by unorganised players.