21st, July 2021. Mumbai: Open Secret, a brand with a vision to “un-junk” the Indian health snack market through high-quality health snacks targeted at families and children, announced today that it has raised a series A investment round, led by Sixth Sense Ventures. The round also saw participation from existing investor Matrix Partners India.
Founded by Ahana Gautam and Udit Kejriwal in 2019, Open Secret has experienced 10X growth over the past year driven by strong consumer demand across their expanding portfolio of products: cookies, chips, spreads, nuts and shake mix. “Mother” is the chief product officer at Open Secret and this strategic expansion of products is a result of solving her problems around various snacking moments.
The freshly infused capital will be used to launch more products, build capacity, strengthen the team, scale up the capabilities in tech and expand omnichannel distribution presence.
Ahana Gautam, CEO and Co-founder, Open Secret said “Growing up in a small city and being raised by a working mother, I always struggled with unhealthy snacking habits as a kid. During my MBA at Harvard Business School, I realized how people there were conscious about what they were snacking and the variety of healthy, tasty, and convenient options they had. It made me wonder why Indian families had limited snacking options and were mostly junk. We therefore, started on a mission to become a household snacking brand in India which stands for both taste and health. We experienced 10X growth over the past year and expanded to 4 more categories. This has been an outcome of the hustle and efforts by every team member, every factory worker (predominately women), and we are grateful for every single family who has placed their trust in us. We are on the path to becoming a leading snacking brand by un-junking snacks in India which is a $10B+ category. We are excited to partner with Sixth Sense on this next phase of growth and leverage their expertise in the consumer sector, and to continue to build upon our partnership with Matrix. Today, as we mark this milestone, we pledge to continue what we started on Day 1 - make every Indian family snack better.”
Nikhil Vora, Founder & CEO of Sixth Sense Ventures, said “Open Secret is perfectly aligned with our investment philosophy of betting on first generation founders, building new age products for the “consumer of tomorrow”, in large markets ($10B+ Indian snacking market). With a strategic focus on the kids’ segment and the core value proposition around “un-junking”, we believe Open Secret has the ability to create a strong niche for itself. Founded by a pedigreed team, they have created a sound pipeline of indulgent yet healthier products. From here on, our sense is that strong execution can drive immense scale making Open Secret a household brand. We hope to accelerate this journey for the team.”
Sanjot Malhi, Director, Matrix India, commented “We have been fortunate to be early partners with Ahana and Udit on this journey of un-junking the Indian snack space. The growth and customer love achieved over the last 12 months is a reflection of the success of Open Secret’s mission to be a leading health-foods player in India. We welcome Sixth Sense to the partnership and look forward to the next phase of growth!”
About the founding team:
Ahana Gautam is an experienced operator with a passion to build and grow the biggest consumer brands in India. She has a B.Tech from IIT Bombay and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She started her career at P&G where she worked across multiple functions – supply chain, finance and marketing. Ahana grew her passion for food brands at General Mills in the US where she launched natural and organic products. Udit Kejriwal has a B.Tech from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. He started his career at P&G and McKinsey and has 6+ years of experience in supply chain and operations.
About Open Secret:
Open Secret is a brand with a vision to make every Indian family snack better. Powered by a strong operating team of strategists and marketers from Harvard Business School, IIM, and IIT with 40+ years of collective FMCG experience and backed by the strongest set of mentors - Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal, and Vivek Gambhir. The goal is to become the most preferred snacking brand for families by un-junking their favourite snacks.
Open Secret is currently available through their website at www.opensecret.in. multiple e-commerce platforms, and across offline stores pan India where they sell their entire range of un-junked snacks including; Nutty Cookies, Nutty Chips, Flavoured Nuts, Nutty Shake Mixes and Nutty Spreads.
About Sixth Sense Ventures:
Sixth Sense Ventures is India's first domestic, consumer-focused venture fund - Investing in the Consumer of Tomorrow...Today! Our core philosophy lies in partnering “early” with first-generation entrepreneurs that are disrupting large & sticky consumer categories and helping them create value by being a good sounding board. Founded in 2014, Sixth Sense Ventures currently manages over $350M across three funds and has been ranked as one of the top performing AIFs (Alternate Investment Funds) in India by CRISIL. Our portfolio of investments includes Hindustan Foods, LEAP India, Soothe Healthcare, Veeba, Nobel Hygiene, Fraazo, Eupheus Learning, Bira, Vahdam Teas, Bombay Shaving, Fullife Healthcare, Saffron Stays, Parag Milk Foods, MyHealthcare, AVG Logistics, NSE, Fitternity (acquired by Curefit), Grab (acquired by Reliance Jio), Weddingz (acquired by Oyo), amongst others.
About Matrix Partners India:
Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with approximately $1 billion under management. 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 consumer-focused companies such as, Country Delight (D2C dairy & fresh foods brand), W For Woman (ready to wear fashion label), OZiva (India’s leading clean, plant-based nutrition brand), Mosaic Wellness (lifestyle & wellness consumer brand), Open Secret (“unjunked” snack brand), The Whole Truth (clean label food brand), DaMENSCH (premium men’s apparel brand), Chumbak (design-led lifestyle brand) and &Me (health tech platform for women).
Other marquee investments include Ola (local transportation), Dailyhunt (mobile local language platform), Razorpay (payments), Five Star Business Finance (SME lending), OfBusiness (credit led B2B marketplace), Ola Electric (multimodal electric vehicle platform), Stanza Living (tech enabled student housing platform), OneCard (mobile-first credit card), DealShare (social commerce platform), Mswipe (mobile POS), and Cloudnine Hospitals (leading chain of maternity hospitals), 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 & ideologies, check out the #MatrixMoments podcast series.