Coca-Cola acquires 15% stake in food-tech platform Thrive Apextalk

New Delhi: Beverage major Coca-Cola India has acquired a 15% stake in Hashtag Loyalty that operates Thrive—a food-tech company that offers online ordering system for restaurants.

Hashtag has raised the capital at a pre-money valuation of 104.68 crore. To be sure, in 2021, Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd, that operates pizza chain Domino’s in India picked up a 35% stake in Hashtag Loyalty.

In a filing to the exchanges on Monday, Jubilant FoodWorks said that Hashtag Loyalty Private Limited, associate of Jubilant FoodWorks Limited has entered into a securities subscription agreement dated 17 April with Coca-Cola India Private pursuant to which the new investor has acquired 15% stake in Hashtag. As a result, JFL’s stake in Hashtag has reduced from 35% to 29.75%.

Thrive provides restaurants with a modern ordering solution for restaurants operating almost like an alternative to the large aggregators Zomato and Swiggy. It helps build microsites for individual restaurants, multi-outlets, and even larger F&B corporations, from which customers can place their orders directly, instead of opting for an aggregator platform.

The commission charged restaurants per order by Thrive is as low as 3%, in comparison to the 25-30% charged by large food delivery aggregators.

The deal also entails Coca-Cola beverages being made available along with online orders placed via the Thrive platform.

“This collaboration between Thrive and Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. will ensure an improved experience for consumers as they can order beverages of their choice along with their favourite meal from Thrive’s partner restaurants. This presents a great opportunity for both Thrive and Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. given the online food delivery market’s projected rapid growth and contribution to the total food services industry,” Thrive said in a blog post on its website.

With this partnership, Thrive will be able to accelerate its restaurant reach and acquire consumers through various Coca-Cola India assets. Currently, over 14,000 restaurants across 80 cities in India use Thrive.

“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. Meals are a critical consumption occasion for our beverages, so the eat & 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,” said Greishma Singh, Vice President, Customer & Commercial Leadership, Coca-Cola India & Southwest Asia.

Promoters of HT Media Ltd, which publishes Mint, and Jubilant FoodWorks are closely related. There are, however, no promoter cross-holdings.

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