East-India focused consumer dairy company Milk Mantra has raised Series-D funding led by Neev Fund, along with co-investment from the existing investors Eight Roads Ventures and Aavishkaar.
Milk Mantra Dairy Private Limited was founded in August 2009 by Mr. Srikumar Misra with the conscious capitalist objective of building an innovative dairy products business leveraging the latest technology. Apart from fresh milk, the company produces a range of premium and innovative dairy products including probiotic dahi, long-life paneer, mishti dahi, lassi, curcumin-based milk-shakes, etc. under the challenger “Milky Moo” brand from its state of the art processing plants in Odisha. Milk Mantra has seen many firsts to its credit – it has engineered an innovative double-layered packaging technology to keep milk fresh for longer periods of time, it has launched the world’s first curcumin-fortified milk-shake, it has built a dairy business as an engaging brand-driven setup rather than just a staples-supplying entity, amongst others.
While the company has focused on high quality manufacturing and product/market innovation in the front end, it has built a strong milk sourcing backbone in the back end by striving to create sustainable impact amongst farmers. The company has structured a unique Ethical Milk Sourcing programme through which it collects the highest quality milk from a network of more than 43,000 farmers covering more than 800 villages. Apart from just sourcing milk, the company has developed deep bonds with the farmer community through various initiatives such as facilitating cattle loans, supplying feed supplements, organizing veterinary camps, artificial insemination programme, etc.
Milk Mantra has now seen successful capital raises from a string of reputed investors – Aavishkaar backed the company in 2012, followed by Eight Roads in 2014 and now Neev Fund in 2016. This latest round of funding will be used to help Milk Mantra expand operations both organically and inorganically – the company will look to acquire select high-quality dairy businesses in East India in the near future. As a part of this round, Ambalika Banerjee from Neev Fund and Dhyanesh Shah from Eight Roads will join the board of Milk Mantra, in addition to existing directors Noshir Colah from Aavishkaar and Kabir Narang from Eight Roads, and Independent Director Suresh Senapaty, ex CFO Wipro.
Srikumar Misra, the company’s founder, MD & CEO commented, “Getting a committed investor like Neev along with the continued support of Eight Roads and Aavishkaar endorses Milk Mantra’s growth potential & strategy of focused functional innovation in creating an exciting brand whilst building our milk sourcing network. With this Series-D raise, the company is well poised to expand further in its core markets”.