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FSSAI-Certified Paan Company, Betel Leaf Raises USD 1.2 Million in Bridge Round Led by Inflection Point Ventures

Funds will help The Betel Leaf Co grow from 45 to 100 kitchens worldwide in 2 years and develop automation for better consistency and higher production.

KJ Staff
Paan Leaves (Representational Photo Source: Pexels)
Paan Leaves (Representational Photo Source: Pexels)

Betel Leaf, India's first FSSAI-certified online paan company has raised USD 1.2 Million in a Bridge Round led by Inflection Point Ventures & Venture Catalysts. The funds raised will be utilized to expand the current retail and online presence from 45 kitchens to 100 kitchens in India and overseas within the next 2 years, while also enabling the development of new automation technology to enhance consistency and increase production volume and range, including innovative products like the ARID paan, a paan with 9 months Shelf life that can be carried anywhere to a Digestive Innovative Tea made from Pure Betel leaves.

The Betel Leaf Co, was founded in July 2019 by Prem Rheja and Payal Raheja. Their goal is to change how people enjoy paan by offering consistently made products, packed in triple-layer pouches for clean and minimal hand touch, ensuring a fresh and hygienic experience.

Prem Rheja, founder of The Betel Leaf Co, brings over 23 years of experience and an MBA in International Business & Finance to the table. His entrepreneurial journey includes starting a mixer grinder factory in Bangalore, establishing an FMCG importing and distribution company, and setting up a factory for tortilla chips and gourmet popcorn in Sri Lanka. Co-founder Payal Raheja complements the team with over 21 years of experience and an MA in Psychology & Consumer Behaviour. Together, they've demonstrated expertise in manufacturing, retail, import, branding, and distribution, driving the success of The Betel Leaf Co.

Ivy Chin Partner, Inflection Point Ventures says, “In a fast-paced & transforming India, finding authentic, hygienic, and convenient options for traditional Indian desserts like paan can be challenging. The Betel Leaf Co is addressing this problem head-on by delivering hygienic, fresh, and authentic paan with a variety of flavours right to our doorstep. IPV supports their insights to solving a very unique problem and trusts their commitment to quality.”

The Betel Leaf Co's strength lies in offering the same great-tasting paan worldwide, thanks to their recipe-based formulation and triple-layered pouches. They are operating both in India and abroad and deliver conveniently right to your doorstep. After creating experiences across 20 cities in 12 states and over 45 kitchens the Company now looks to open their entire retail foot print with key account sign ups with Reliance Retail, Spar and many more retail chains. To enhance their retail options, they will also be opening their brick and mortar retail experience stores in order to give the trusted brand a face. Currently The Betel Leaf Co also exports across Singapore, Malaysia, Nairobi, UK and USA.

Prem Raheja, Co-Founder & CEO, says, “The Betel leaf company was born to redefine the age-old tradition to eat paan, the healthy hygienic way, matching technology with tradition. We would like to make every consumer enjoy the benefits of consuming Betel Leaf by the way of paan or other paan-based products and looking at becoming the category creator and leaders in organizing this unorganized product.”

The Betel Leaf Co has garnered notable achievements, including winning the Best Paan Award at the Nationwide Hospitality Awards 2021 and recognition for their Betel Dark Chocolate Bar and Calcutta Meetha Paan by Swiggy. They were also honoured at the 5th Edition of India’s Most Prominent Food & Hospitality Awards 2022 and named the 104th Super Startup on Super Startup Wednesday, the most disruptive Category 2023 and innovative customer service category 2023 affirming their dedication to excellence and innovation in the paan industry.

The current market size of the paan industry is estimated to be between 3000 to 4000 crore rupees. With efforts to redefine paan consumption and bring it back into the mainstream, industry experts anticipate a growth rate of at least 100% year on year. This ambitious projection aims to organise and tap this large market.

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