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Ice cream brand Hocco raises Rs 100-Cr in funding

Hocco, a new-age-ice cream brand based in Ahmedabad, has successfully raised $12 million through a fundraise of Rs 100 crore, led by the Chona family, the brand’s promoter group, and Sauce VC, an existing investor. Angel investors, like as film producers Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, participated in the primary capital infusion, which was valued at Rs 600 crore following the investment. 

Ankit Chona, managing director of Hocco, stated that the funds raised will be used to increase the company’s manufacturing capacity. In the fiscal year that ends in March 2025, the eight-month-old brand expects to make Rs 200 crore in revenue.

The South Korean business Lotte acquired the Chona family’s iconic brand Havmor in 2017 for a sum of Rs 1,020 crore. 

After this funding, Sauce VC, an investment group that focuses on consumers and has supported modern startups like Mokobara and The Whole Truth, now owns about 10% of Hocco. 

“We started in October last year. We were very bullish but did not expect this kind of response. What we predicted we’d be doing in the second or third year, we’ve ended up doing in the first year. Currently, our plant capacity is between 40,000-50,000 litres a day, and our original projection by May was 15,000 litres. By next summer, we will triple our capacity reaching 1.3 lakh litres a day,” Chona said.  

In recent years, a number of new businesses have entered India’s ice cream industry, which is expected to be worth $5 billion this year. 

These companies, which aim to create a niche in a market dominated by the likes of Amul, Mother Dairy, Kwality Walls from Hindustan Unilever, and Cream Bell, owned by the Jaipuria group, are Noto, Get A Way, Go Zero, Frubon, and Minus 30. 

Investors in risk capital include Fireside Ventures, Saama Capital, Jungle Ventures, and DSG Consumer Partners.

“The expansion in the ice cream market is a reflection of increasing disposable incomes going towards impulse and indulgence categories. Channels like quick commerce allow a connect to digitally savvy new age consumers who want instantaneous gratification for their sugar craving which was not possible five years ago,” said Manu Chandra, founder and managing partner, Sauce VC. 

“Existing brands at this price point are very old and our consumer research revealed that Gen Alpha, Gen Z and even millennials today don’t relate to them,” he said.  

According to Hocco’s Chona, the company is considering using quick commerce as a means to expand into areas outside of Gujarat, which is a significant industry for it. 

“Right now, our revenue is mainly from Gujarat and a little bit of quick commerce. We started quick commerce in February, and since then our sales on the channel have been doubling every month,” he said.  

According to Chona, Hocco aims to increase its sales by 100% in FY26 compared to FY25. 

“The way we plan to do that is to penetrate deeper into Gujarat and expand into nearby geographies. Before next summer, we will launch in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Delhi-NCR,” he said.

“Quick commerce is going to be a big disruptor for the ice cream industry. It’s an impulse product, and it satiates the demand through 10-minute deliveries. The only challenge there is that quick commerce platforms carry a lot of brands so you can’t get the depth of SKUs. Nonetheless, it’s a huge opportunity,” he added.

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