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Coca-Cola looks to invest in Indian startup ecosystem

Beverage giant Coca-Cola is reportedly exploring investment opportunities in the Indian startup ecosystem and is eyeing Thrive, a growing food delivery platform that competes with the likes of Swiggy and Zomato. This marks the first time Coca-Cola would invest in a startup in India, and the potential investment is expected to boost Thrive’s growth plans significantly.

In a statement, made by Thrive on Monday read, “Thrive will be able to ramp up its scale by leveraging Coca-Cola India’s extensive reach to dining outlets and consumers. It is also launching a new discovery platform in line with its ambition to better serve the discovery needs of the restaurants it serves.”

Greishma Singh, VP, Customer and Commercial Leadership, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, said “Coca-Cola India is delighted to partner with the Thrive Now ecosystem as we see digital capability as an essential multiplier for our India growth strategy.”

She further added “Meals are a critical consumption occasion for our beverages, so the eat and drink channel is an ideal place for us to be investing in technology and innovating to digitally enable every outlet to provide a superior consumer experience online and offline.”

Coca-Cola is in advanced talks with Thrive and is looking to invest around $25-30 million in the startup. The investment is expected to be a part of a larger funding round in which Thrive aims to raise a total of $70 million.

Thrive was founded in 2020 by Dhruv Dewan, Karan Chechani and Krishi Fagwani, enabling restaurants to build their own sub-portals. Thrive has quickly established itself as a player in the Indian food delivery market, offering a wide range of cuisines and partnering with several restaurants across the country. The platform claims to have over 2 million registered users and is expanding rapidly across new cities.

Coca-Cola’s interest in Thrive comes as the beverage giant looks to diversify its revenue streams and expand its presence in the fast-growing Indian market.

The food delivery market in India has witnessed significant growth in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerating the adoption of online food ordering and delivery. Swiggy and Zomato, two of the leading players in the market, have raised significant funding and are aggressive ly expanding their operations across new cities and verticals.

Thrive, on the other hand, has been focused on providing a differentiated customer experience by partnering with curated restaurants and offering personalized recommendations based on user preferences. The potential investment from Coca-Cola is expected to provide a significant boost to the startup’s growth plans and help it compete more effectively with the established players in the market.

Coca-Cola’s investment in Thrive marks a significant milestone in the Indian startup ecosystem and is expected to fuel the growth of the food delivery platform. With the backing of a global brand like Coca-Cola, Thrive is well-positioned to compete with the established players in the market and capture a significant share of the growing food delivery market in India



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