BENGALURU: Zeta, a startup that offers meal and other corporate benefits to employees, has raised its first external funding round from French employee benefits giant Sodexo at a valuation of $300 million. Zeta, promoted by Bhavin Turakhia, has been the serial entrepreneur’s next big venture after he exited Media.net as a partner in 2016, selling the company to a Chinese conglomerate at a valuation of $900 million.

“We were looking for strategic investors for Zeta for the past one year and had met multiple investment houses, only to finally settle on Sodexo. The final amount invested by them is less than $60 million,” Turakhia told ET.

Due to regulatory guidelines, the publicly listed Sodexo will not be able to share details of the amount it has invested in the technology platform, Zeta said.

“Zeta is my largest investment today; together with my cofounder Ramki (Gadipatti), we want to build Zeta to become 20 to 30 times bigger than anything I have built till date,” Turakhia said. “For such kind of scale and rapid expansion plans, we had anticipated that we will need some external funding in the future.”

Turakhia and Gadipatti have together pumped in $40 million into the company since inception in 2015. Turakhia said Zeta will use the funds to explore new opportunities outside India, across markets in Latin America, the United States, UK and parts of Europe.

“We will be hiring presidents for various markets over the next six to 12 months; a part of that is also going to double our engineering team to accelerate the pace at which we continue to provide these products,” said Turakhia.

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The Bengaluru-based startup’s goal is to reach five to six countries in the next six to 12 months and 8 to 10 countries over the next eight to 12 months.





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