Indian sweets and snacks manufacturer, Haldiram’s will be investing and mentoring consumer products start-ups in India for next 2 years and it has collaborating with Venture Catalyst (VCats), an integrated startup incubator and investment platform, reported Business Line.

While Haldiram’s has not disclosed the corpus, it plans to invest in 10-15 consumer products goods startups over the next 2 years with the help of Venture Catalyst, which has already incubated consumer facing product-based startups such as men’s grooming brand Beardo, female hygiene brand PeeSafe and herbal energy shot drink FYRE.

The development comes within few days after it was reported that Haldiram , along with TPG Capital and others, have submitted an expression of interest (EoI) to acquire Delhi-based Kwality Dairy, a loss-making dairy startup.

"Haldiram’s has established its position as a leader, risk-taker and quality seeker in the industry. We have always strived to focus on identifying market opportunities and make the best use of them through product diversification and listening to the consumer intently. We want to share the knowledge acquired over the years and contribute to the burgeoning start-up ecosystem in the country," said a company spokesperson.

To recall, in February it was reported that Kellogg's, the world's second-largest snack foods company, is exploring options to acquire a stake in Haldiram's and which could be one of the biggest deals involving an Indian consumer brand.

Besides Haldiram’s, several other large domestic firms and MNCs in the FMCG sector are actively looking to tap the flourishing Indian startup ecosystem in consumer products segment.

Recently, global consumer goods company, Unilever, has invested in Pureplay Skin Sciences (India) Pvt Ltd, which sells the Plum brand of of skincare products, through its venture capital and private equity arm, Unilever Ventures.

Last year, Colgate-Palmolive invested in online men’s grooming firm Bombay Shaving Company. In June last year, Bangalore-based liquor company, United Spirits Ltd had invested ₹27 Crore in HipBar, a Bengaluru-based online drinks ordering platform. Home-grown FMCG company Marico has acquired Ahmedabad-based men’s grooming start-up Beardo.

The FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) sector is the fourth largest sector in India and has grown from US$31.6 billion in 2011 to US$52.8 billion in 2017-18. The sector is further expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.9% to reach US$ 103.7 billion by 2020.

Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, founder of Venture Catalyst, said, "The alliance with Haldiram’s sets a benchmark for other enterprises to enter into active collaborations that look to empower the start-up ecosystem. The Haldiram’s growth story and the way in which they have built an empire from the ground up — this is the ideal example that we want to set for the enterprises that are a part of the VCats set-up right now.”

Anuj Golecha, co-founder of Venture Catalyst, added that the association with Haldiram’s will give the startups in Venture Catalyst's consumer products goods portfolio an immense boost with knowledge, confidence and resource opportunities to achieve robust growth and scale quickly.

It may also be recalled that in this month, a consumer product startup, Azah, raised $200,000 in the seed-round funding from a group of angel investors

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