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Need help on choosing the best possible funding option for a food SME.

Hi Fellow Rodinhooders, 

We are a self taught baker duo based in Delhi delivering premium cakes across Delhi/NCR. We are based online and generate orders through our Website & social media platforms. 

We shared our entire story on therodinhoods here.

We are at a  growing stage, consumers are loving our products and orders are increasing on a daily basis. That’s a good sign, however it’s getting tough for us to manage the orders as our resources are limited. In order to expand we need funds to

1) Develop a strong cake ordering platform.

2) Buy bigger equipments. For Ex: Bigger Oven, Mixers etc.

3) Setup a bigger kitchen.

4) Hire People. Especially some delivery guys, helpers.

5) Online/Offline marketing campaigns.

So, the challenge right now is that we don’t have enough funds available. We don’t want to borrow from friends/relatives. We already applied for a business loan however we aren’t eligible for that as they require a huge bank statement, also our business is not that old.

We’ve been in business for about 10 months and our current account is only 4 months old.

So I need help on advice/suggestions regarding

1) Possible ways of fundraising for SMEs like us.

2) Are government funding schemes like “PM Mudra Yojna” good enough?

3) Should we go for Angel investment? If yes then how can connect with the right one?

Basically, would need advice as to what would be best suited funding options for us at this stage? 

Below are the links that talk about our online presence:

Click here for our:

 Wesbite (Under Construction)  | Facebook page  | Zomato  | Instagram

Looking forward to valuable feedback/suggestions.

Regards,

Anant

E-mail: anant@mysticalbundle.com

Twitter: trancefrlife

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3 Comments

  1. hey anant,

    do share this link on ASK RUDRAJEET’s page as well. he’s an awesome rodinhooder to seek funding advice from.

    also since you are thinking of funding i would like you use the search on trh and go through every article we have on funding – the insights will help you for sure. some links:

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/alok-kejriwal-on-raising-money

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/99-questions-every-investor-will-ask-especially-a-vc

    and if you wanna pitch to an angel – you need to get your plan &  pitch in place – pls chk: 

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/business-plan-template-free-download

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/a-ready-to-use-template-for-pitching-your-business-for-funding

    and we have something on the PM mudra yojna as well – http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/queries-regarding-pradhan-mantri-mudra-yojana-collateral-free

    if you decide to seek an angel investor, you are more than welcome to post your funding pitch on trh. you just never know… 🙂

    good luck!!

  2. Hi Anant,

    Great pics of the cakes 🙂 What’s your lead time to deliver in Gurgaon…I wouldn’t mind trying that red velvet cake 😉

    Also, how much funds are you guys potentially looking for ?

    So here are some potential answers to your questions

    1) Possible ways of fundraising for SMEs like us.

    MB is still a micro enterprise so don’t look SME ( Small & Medium Enterprise) options

    Ask your friends / family for a loan ( If you believe in the business, why wouldn’t you consider a loan from family if you are open to the idea of taking a loan from a bank )

    You seem to have more than 50+ positive and 5* reviews – if these are genuine, then you might want to explore a crowdfunding campaign – something like Pay Rs 500 for a cake now and we will surprise you with one (worth atleast Rs 1000) on your birthday or  Book two and we will surprise your friend / family too.

    With this, not only will you get advance business but solve liquidity / cash flow problem and not dilute any equity

    2) Are government funding schemes like “PM Mudra Yojna” good enough?

    Though this yojna has disbursed quite a large amount of total loans, most of the loans are of small value and you will again run into your banker.

    3) Should we go for Angel investment? If yes then how can connect with the right one?

    You are still a niche business at the moment so am not sure how many angel investors will be interested – They will want to know ‘how you will scale’ and you will ‘develop technology to enable users to directly download cakes on their mobiles’ – Again, may not be worth breaking your head over at this point of time – Grow slowly and organically and let them come to you

    I had a look at your website – Why are you using Magento as your website platform ? A simple wordpress based system might have worked and could have been cheaper too.

    In gurgaon, there are tons of home bakers who are doing great business with just a Facebook page.

    Call me on 9999334995 if you would like to chat some time.

    Cheers & All the best.

    Abhik

  3. Honestly, I would focus on PROFITABILITY and keep ploughing money back into the business.

    Nothing beats putting money back in what you’ve started.

    Check out this story no 6 from – http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/the-9-best-conversations-i-have-had-in-my-life-and-the-lessons-i-

    6. Let’s try one last time…

    Circa -2002.

    Place – Small conference room of Contests2win at 42, Film Center, Tardeo Mumbai.

    People present – GK (COO of c2w) and me.

    Situation  – c2w had survived for one year after the bust. We had received no more VC funds. GK, Ranga and I had halved our salaries. GK and I had not collected our reduced salaries for 1 year. The sales funnel was worsening because dot com clients were fast disappearing. Our own VC – eVentures closed operations. We calculated that we had 4 months of salaries left and had decided to let most people leave and keep a bare existence. It was a dignified expression of saying we were shutting down. GK and I were meeting to discuss the plan of action of winding up.

    GK said, “Alok(ji), after this month’s salary, let’s send a mail to everyone telling that we are laying them off and to advise them to start looking for new jobs. And we will promise them salaries for the next 2 months.”

    I despondently said, “GK, isn’t there something else we can do? I mean we have a clear 4 months left.”

    I distinctly remember the conference room being dark. We had not switched on the lights to save on the electricity as a routine practice. GK looked around and fixed his eyes on the large c2w brand cut-out, that was always a permanent fixture in that room. This cut-out had our partner brands’ logos printed on it.

    The c2w Brand Hand in the same place in same conference roomThe c2w Brand Hand today, in the same place in same conference room

    I remember GK’s eyes gleaming when he looked at the logos and he suddenly said, “Alok(ji) – we have been meeting the wrong people for funding. We have been pitching to the wrong VCs. Our VCs are our clients – NO ONE ELSE! You need to double up your efforts by getting business from real world clients. Stop wasting your time in chasing the VCs and get the business funded by business cash flow – not investments. Investments will not happen now, but Business can always happen!”

    I walked out feeling like a mercenary on a mission to survive.

    Lesson and Outcome – I live today to tell you this tale.

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