15th November 2021, marked an auspicious day in the amazing on-going journey of Petpooja, to emerge as the leading restaurant-tech company of India. We gladly announced a successful funding round where we raised $4.5 Mn from Aroa Ventures, Udaan, and GVFL.
Our founders- Mr. Parthiv Patel and Mr. Apurv Patel, do not consider this feat as a major milestone, rather, a small but significant stepping stone to achieve the ultimate vision of Petpooja – be the de-facto Operating System for all SMBs in the Food and Beverage Industry globally.
But this feat was surely an occasion of celebration and our Founders grew nostalgic and proud of how far Petpooja has come since its inception.
How it Started?
Petpooja is a homegrown brand started with a simple mission- to streamline the unorganized sector of the food industry in India. This comprised various SMBs and made up the biggest chunk of revenue contribution in the Indian restaurant segment; around 90%.
Parthiv and Apurv were college friends but then pursued different interests after they graduated. Parthiv pursued a career in Finance whereas Apurv was working for a leading IT MNC in India. After a few years, they coincidentally met in Ahmedabad and were reminiscing about their college days and their love for food in this city.
That’s when they thought of starting something related to the food industry. Petpooja initially started as a delivery service for corporates and MNCs in 2011. We acted as a middle-men to deliver large bulk orders of corporate meals from our partner restaurants. We achieved a significant mark in 2 years and were serving over 200 corporates in Ahmedabad and had partnered with 300+ restaurants.
But in the process, Parthiv and Apurv realised that this business was operationally intensive. They had to place orders manually, constantly follow up for orders, manage billing, and track deliveries. This further made them realise that all these ordinary tasks are a daily routine for all the restaurant operatives, and quite a lot struggle to keep pace with this manual ordeal leading to increasing restaurant shutdowns.
In 2014, Parthiv and Apurv realigned their mission and wanted to smoothen this process by providing necessary technological solutions. They wanted to automate the mundane and repetitive tasks, which would give more time to the restaurant owner to focus on customer service and business growth.
They pitched this idea to friends and family, and secured the initial seed fund to start their operations in building the Petpooja point-of-sale (POS) software.
The Onset of Petpooja
The innate humble work culture at Petpooja is because of its humble and visionary beginnings. We started our operations from a one-room office space. The founding duo hired some exceptionally talented individuals who believed in the similar vision as theirs and had the yearning to achieve it.
The initial response to Petpooja POS was tremendously positive. People loved the simplicity of the product, transparent pricing structure, prompt customer support and some never-seen features in other POS. Petpooja had announced itself in a grand fashion through its growing market share. We offered state-of-the-art product and services at the most affordable rate.
Literally, at the price of a cup of tea for one day!
Slowly the team of 2 grew to a massive team of 200 and we secured our Series-A funding of $2 Mn from Udaan in 2019. This gave us the necessary firepower to upgrade our POS with more features and also work towards advanced products like Kiosk, AI-enabled software, FoodBot (a Robot designed to carry out serving tasks of a waiter in the restaurant), and many more.
The Present Day
Gradually as the Petpooja’s product finesse became more popular it garnered big client names like Havmor, Jumboking, Apsara, TGIF, The Beer Cafe, Thalappakatti, and more.
In 2020, when the world was struck by COVID pandemic, the restaurant sector took a major hit in India. With long lockdown and stringent delivery parameters, the churn rate of restaurants increased exponentially. Due to this, Petpooja also suffered some setbacks in its operations and revenues.
But somehow, we steered through it, kudos to our passionate and persistent team. While through that hardship, the ‘Petpooja’ spirit still pushed us to be innovative and devise solutions which would help the restaurants to recover quickly from the pandemic setback. Petpooja launched vital features like Scan-Order-Pay, Voice-ordering Kiosk, Petpooja Restaurant Analytics Insights, SMS service, Online Order Reconciliation, Suppliers Hub, etc. Such features proved to be extremely helpful for the restaurants all across India to cope up with the COVID losses in a better way.
As of today, we are now a strong and growing family of 600+ employees and have also started scaling our operations globally. The Series-B funding of $4.5 Mn in November 2021 further boosts our efforts in achieving our mission to revolutionize the restaurant-tech industry and better enable the efficiency of all restaurants and F&B models.
We, especially Parthiv and Apurv, would like to thank all our customers, employees, and stakeholders, for being a part of this beautiful journey so far. We promise you even more grand results and bigger achievements in the future. As we continue to deliver the best products and services to our customers, we are inching a step closer in achieving our long-term vision.