Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan Invests In D2C Snack Brand TagZ

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TagZ Foods said that the partnership will enable it to build a range of advertising campaigns to leverage synergies with Shikhar Dhawan’s strong appeal among young consumers

As part of the deal, the startup has also roped in Dhawan as its brand ambassador

The new fundraise comes days after TagZ raised $2 Mn in a pre-Series A funding round led by 9 Unicorns

Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan has invested an undisclosed amount of funding in omnichannel snack brand TagZ Foods. As part of the deal, the startup has also roped in Dhawan as its brand ambassador.

The deal will enable the startup to build a range of advertising campaigns to reach out to more customers and effectively promote the brand. In a statement, TagZ said the partnership will leverage synergies with Dhawan’s brand persona and strong appeal among young consumers to scale the brand.

“As a sportsman, I understand the importance of eating better and leading an active lifestyle. I am excited to be a part of TagZ Foods’ journey as it leapfrogs into its next orbit of growth and expansion. This is a deep and long-term partnership in my dual role as investor and brand ambassador at TagZ,” said Dhawan. 

TagZ’s cofounder Anish Basu Roy added, “He embodies the values that we stand for – better eating, fitness and an active lifestyle. His association with TagZ Foods in his dual capacity as investor and brand ambassador is (a) deep integration into our brand’s mission.”

Founded in 2019 by Basu Roy and Sagar Bhalotia, TagZ is an omnichannel snacking brand that sells popped potato chips, gourmet dips and cookies. It sells its products across its website, quick commerce platforms, and offline retail stores.

The new fundraise from Dhawan comes days after the startup raised $2 Mn in a pre-Series A funding round led by 9 Unicorns. Prior to this, the startup bagged $1.2 Mn in seed funding from a group of angel investors in 2020. 

Backed by names such as Dexter Angels, Agility Ventures, Venture Catalysts, Klub and Indifi, TagZ competes with the likes of Happilo, Nourish You and others. TagZ also emerged as one of the emerging brands in Inc42’s FAST42 D2C 2023 list.

Last month, the startup claimed that it logged a 30X increase in volumes in the past 1.5 years. TagZ currently retails its products through 5,000 stores across 22 cities and through quick commerce platforms such as Swiggy Instamart, Zepto and others. 

It also sells its products overseas in countries such as Kuwait, Dubai, Maldives and Australia.

TagZ erupted into prominence around the same time as the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the country as Indians made a beeline for D2C brands. As the online growth tapered off, D2C brands opted for an omnichannel approach to further grow its business. The pivot to offline channel has led to a spurt in numbers for the D2C ecosystem which has attracted the attention of investors. 

In February, food and beverages startup TABP Snacks and Beverages secured INR 20 Cr in a pre-Series A funding round led by LC Nueva AIF and angel investor Arun Mukherjee. In March, confectionary giant Mondelēz International announced the launch of a startup accelerator initiative for early stage Indian snack brands.

Earlier this year, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant ITC said it was acquiring D2C healthy foods brand Yoga Bar.

As more and more Indians come online and explore online shopping, the influx of new users is expected to give a major fillip to the D2C ecosystem. As per an Inc42 report, the country will be home to more than 500 Mn online shoppers by 2030 which is projected to push the overall homegrown ecommerce market to a $400 Bn opportunity by 2030.

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