12 Flags Group takes a sip of Blue Tokai

12 Flags Group, the India-focused consumer fund set up by Rakesh Kapoor, former global CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, has struck its first deal in India by investing an undisclosed amount in speciality coffee chain Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters.

Kapoor confirmed the deal to ET. He, however, declined to give further details on the investment. A Blue Tokai spokesperson declined to comment.

The investment by 12 Flags comes at a time when cafe chains in India are growing faster than quick service restaurants (QSRs), fuelled by younger set of consumers, aspirational demand, and menu innovation. In addition to new-age speciality coffee chains such as Blue Tokai, Third Wave and Slay, there are legacy brands such as Tata Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Barista, as well as relatively newer global entrants to India like British chain Pret a Manger and Canada’s Tim Hortons, all of which are fuelling demand for cafes.

Blue Tokai’s operating model has three verticals – physical cafes, ecommerce and business-to-business (B2B).

The company’s operating revenue surged more than 70% to ₹127 crore in FY23. Net losses, however, widened 3.5 times to ₹43 crore during the year, according to regulatory filings sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler.

Last month, the coffee roasters and cafe chain, which announced its 100th store, said in a statement that it is aiming to double its store count to 200 stores in 12-18 months.”With increasing affinity for high-quality coffee, consumers are now actively seeking out-of-home coffee experiences that extend beyond just transactions and focus on the need for inclusive, safe spaces,” Shivam Shahi, co-founder and chief operating officer, Blue Tokai, said. The estimated $17.54 billion Indian cafe and bar market is projected to reach $26.17 billion by 2029, according to market intelligence and advisory firm Mordor Intelligence.


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