- The funding round is led by Sequoia Capital India
- With strong customer love, the ‘Protein Bar to Chocolate’ brand has grown 7X since its last fundraise; has a community of 300K+ followers
Mumbai, 9th January 2023: The Whole Truth (TWT), a 100% clean-label food brand has raised ~USD 15Mn in its Series B round, led by Sequoia Capital India. The round saw participation from existing investors Matrix Partners India and Sauce.Vc. Angel investors who previously invested in the company include Nithin Kamath (Zerodha), Sriharsha Majety (Swiggy) and Jaydeep Burman (Rebel Foods). The fresh capital will be deployed towards scaling up the brand’s in-house manufacturing capacity, hiring great talent, and in growing retail distribution.
TWT, which was founded by Shashank Mehta, an ex-Unilever marketeer, is the result of his life-long struggle with obesity and his realization that the main culprit was unhealthy packaged food, loaded with hidden sugars and chemicals, masquerading as healthy. Rachna Aggarwal, a bakery chef and chocolatier with over 15 years of experience, heads TWT’s product development and is the person behind the category-changing products the brand is known for. All other functions are led by a team of EiRs (Entrepreneurs in Residence) who don’t come from the food industry but are hell-bent on setting it right.
With a mission of creating the most transparent, clean, and ‘truthful’ food brand in India, TWT is the only Indian brand to list every ingredient that goes into their food, upfront. Their myth-busting content on Instagram, YouTube, and their in-house publication called Truth Be Told - has earned them a loyal community of over 300K members who follow the brand to understand the complex, misleading world of food and fitness content.
TWT’s latest product offering is date-sweetened, no added sugar chocolates. A unique product that the market has never seen, TWT manufactures these chocolates at its in-house, bean-to-bar chocolate factory. Their other offerings include Protein Bars, Peanut Butters, and Muesli.
Commenting on the funding, Shashank Mehta, Founder and CEO of The Whole Truth Foods said,“From Day 1, we’ve maintained we’re not a food-brand. We’re a truth brand. Fighting to bring truth back to food. To make food real again. And we intend to bring this philosophy to all food categories where consumers are being sold half-truths. From Protein Bars to Chocolates and beyond. With this new fundraise, hence, nothing changes. We’ll continue to innovate and enter more categories. We’ll continue to grow distribution and bring our existing products to more consumers. And we’ll continue to make clutter-breaking, myth-busting content that educates consumers. Because what we read and believe, is what we eat and repeat.”
Since its Series A in July 2021, TWT has grown 7X, launched 100% Clean-Label, bean-to-bar Chocolates and grown physical distribution to over 10 cities. With their proprietary R&D and in-house manufacturing, they’ve managed to eliminate all hidden sugars, artificial flavors, and harmful preservatives from their food.
“Building large, enduring brands takes decades. And the fact that *all* our existing investors, even in the current environment have chosen to back us once again - is all the validation we need to know we’re on the right track,” Shashank added.
“Sequoia Capital India is delighted to double-down on the partnership with The Whole Truth. We have been working with Shashank, Rachna, and team for over a year and a half now and have been very impressed with their product innovation engine, marketing acumen, and overall quality of execution. We are excited about the journey ahead,” said Abhishek Mohan, Principal at Sequoia India.
“We're excited to double down on our investment in The Whole Truth (TWT), and recommit to Shashank, Rachna, and the team. With the launch of chocolates, they're taking TWTs philosophy and execution to one of the largest categories that can impact millions of people including kids. Privileged to be part of this partnership with Sequoia Capital India, Sauce, and others - looking forward to the journey ahead!” said Vikram Vaidyanathan, Managing Director at Matrix Partners India.
“The potential of this brand lies in its simplicity and universality - that consumers hate being lied to. We backed Shashank when he had just this thought and a protein bar mock-up, and it’s extremely gratifying to see it become such an exciting and loved food brand,” commented Manu Chandra, Founder and Managing Partner at Sauce.vc.
TWT’s range of Bars, Muesli, Nut Butters, and Chocolates are available at thewholetruthfoods.com and at all leading marketplaces, quick commerce platforms, and retail stores. The TWT team also makes quirky-yet-educational content that helps consumers understand and decode their food choices. Check out their viral brand-ads here. And check-out Truth Be Told, their health publication, written by India’s top food and fitness experts, here.
About The Whole Truth Foods:
TWT makes 100% clean-label food products. It’s the only Indian brand that lists each & every ingredient that goes into their food, proudly, upfront. They also make quirky-yet-educational content that helps consumers understand and decode their food choices. You can check it out here.
You can check out their range of Protein Bars, Nut Butters and Chocolates at thewholetruthfoods.com. And their viral brand-ad, made on a shoestring budget, here.
About Sequoia Capital India
Sequoia helps daring founders build legendary companies, from idea to IPO to beyond.
Sequoia Capital India and Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia actively partner with founders from a wide range of companies, across categories, including BYJUs, CRED, Druva, Five Star Finance, Freshworks, GoTo, Groww, Kopi Kenangan, Mamaearth, Pine Labs, Polygon, Razorpay, Truecaller, Zomato and more.
We spur founders to push the boundaries of what's possible. In partnering with Sequoia, startups benefit from over 50 years of tribal knowledge and lessons learned working with companies like Airbnb, Alibaba, Apple, Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn, and Stripe early on.
From the beginning universities, endowments, and other non-profits have been the backbone of our investor base which means founders' accomplishments make a meaningful difference. For more information on Sequoia's work in India and Southeast Asia visit sequoiacap.com/India
About Matrix Partners India:
Founded in 2006, the firm invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer and enterprise market at the seed, early and early growth stages. Matrix India has invested in several market leading and consumer companies such as, Ola (mobility), Razorpay (payments and SME Neobank), OfBusiness (B2B Commerce), Dailyhunt (mobile local language platform), OneCard (mobile-first credit card), Ola Electric (electric vehicles), DealShare (social commerce platform), Country Delight (D2C dairy & fresh foods brand), Stanza Living (tech enabled student housing platform), GoKwik (e-commerce enablement platform), Mosaic Wellness (health and wellness platform), W For Woman (ready to wear fashion label), The Whole Truth (clean label food brand), Zupee (leading skill-based gaming app) and Park+ (super app for car users). Other marquee investments include MoEngage (SaaS), Jupiter (consumer neobank), Captain Fresh (seafood marketplace), Oxyzo (a tech-enabled smart financing solution provider), LiquiLoans (P2P lending) among others.
Matrix India has advisory offices in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. Matrix Partners has a global network of funds investing in the US, China and India, with approximately $5 billion under management. Further information is available at www.matrixpartners.in. To know more about our investment philosophy, check out the #MatrixMoments podcast series.
Sauce is an early-stage VC that invests in digital first consumer brands. We work on a high engagement model, where we as fund managers work actively with the portfolio companies as well as having developed an ecosystem of service partners, advisors and infrastructural players that founders can leverage. Fund I started in 2019 with a corpus of INR 60Cr and 9 investee companies. Fund II launched 2021 with a corpus of INR 160Cr and currently has 8 investee companies.
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