Archive for November, 2006

Matrix India invests in Yo! China

Matrix Partners India invests in Yo! China
~ 25 crore investment to scale India’s first and largest Chinese fast food chain ~
~ Yo! China wins contracts for Delhi and Mumbai airports ~

Mumbai, November 28, 2006: Matrix Partners India (MPI) has invested Rs. 25 crore in Moods Hospitality Pvt. Limited, parent company of Yo! China, which is India’s first and largest Chinese fast food company with 20 operational outlets. MPI is India’s first consumer services risk capital fund and focuses on early to growth stage businesses in the Internet, mobile, financial services, media & entertainment, food & beverage, hospitality, healthcare, travel & leisure sectors. MPI co-founded by Avnish Bajaj & Rishi Navani with Matrix Partners US, strives to be the trusted partner providing risk capital to build market leading consumer services companies. With this investment, Avnish Bajaj has joined the Board of Directors of Yo! China.

Commenting on the occasion, Ashish Kapur, co–Founder & Managing Director, Yo! China said, “We are delighted to partner with Matrix India for our funding & this financial backing will further accelerate our national expansion plans of opening 200 outlets in the next 3-4 years. At the outlet level we have successfully created a ‘yummy’ and exciting experience which is validated by overwhelming guest footfalls. We have also invested crucial time in building knowledge around the processes and supply chain required for successful and consistent scale up. We have recently won the bids to have our presence in Delhi and Mumbai airports and plan to extend our brand into multiple formats where we can capture anytime-anywhere availability for the customer.

Avnish Bajaj, Founding Managing Director, Matrix Partners India, said, “Yo! China is addressing a significant opportunity since Chinese food is the 2nd most popular cuisine in India and so far has not had anyone catering to the vast fast food opportunity. Ashish is a fabulous entrepreneur and has won the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award from the FHRAI. He and his co–founders have built a great customer experience of authentic, high quality and consistent Chinese food at low prices and have combined with it rigorous systems and processes to scale this nationwide. We are tremendously excited about partnering with Yo! China and their team”

With 20 outlets offering sumptuous Chinese fare across the country, Yo! China is rearing to go in a major expansion mode to be a significant player in the fast growing restaurant market. Dimsum is the restaurant specialty with over 4 million sold. The Chowmein Box is another hero product which is a filling meal at Rs. 20/- and served in an international styled ‘on the go’ packaging. Yo! China is one of the rare retail chains which has grown over 200% in topline with the company being profitable from day one.

About Matrix Partners India
Matrix Partners India, co-founded by Avnish Bajaj & Rishi Navani along with Matrix Partners US, is focused on being the trusted partner in providing risk capital to build market leading consumer services companies. Matrix Partners India invests $10 million +over multiple rounds with an initial investment ranging from $500K to $10 million in consumer services businesses targeting the Indian market in the Internet, mobile, financial services, hospitality, food & beverage, media & entertainment, healthcare, travel etc. sectors. The fund’s investors include leading US university endowments & family foundations. Further information is also available at

About Yo! China
Yo! China is India’s first and largest Chinese fast food chain. With its tagline of ‘Chinese food. Chinese Prices’, Yo! China aims to deliver high quality Chinese food at very reasonable prices served in an international ambience. The restaurant offers fast service and a child friendly atmosphere. For this achievement of creating a national brand which offers an international experience, Yo! China and its management have been awarded various accolades like: ‘India Today – Young Achievers of 2006’, ‘CNBC – Young Turks’, ‘Times of India – Chinese alternative to McDonalds’, ‘HT City Eating Out Guide – Best Fast Food Chain’ etc. The restaurant chain has outlets in trendy locations across the country in the following cities – Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Pune, Bangalore, Mangalore & Hyderabad. For further information tap on to

teenage entrepreneurs –


Company –
Founders: Weina Scott and Jake Fisher
Location: Miami Beach, Fla. (Weina); Rochester, Minn. (Jake)
Year Founded: 2005
Initial Capitalization: $50
Sold For : $200,000

Weina Scott and Jake Fisher’s Story: Even among startups with cut-to-the-bone budgets, the creation and launch of Weina Scott’s and Jake Fisher’s podcast hosting company was a remarkable exercise in minimalism.

Weina wrote the programming code for Miami-based on Microsoft Notepad. Then she and Jake, her marketing guy, built a Web site, started posting on message boards to get word out about their service, and blew through their ad budget – $50 – for online promotion.

Now considered one of the top five podcast hosting companies in the industry, Switchpod, launched in 2005, averages 1 million downloads a month and enjoys a 20 percent monthly growth rate in listener downloads. It recently was acquired by Wizzard Software for $200,000 in stock.

Oh, yes – both entrepreneurs are high school students.
More at

IIT Bombay E Summit

IIT Bombay is having its annual entrepreneurship summit “eSummit” on Dec 10th. Canaan is a sponsor to the event. Will look forward to seeing some of you there,

Real Estate Collapse in the US?

A long, scary and data-laden argument that the real estate market in the US is headed for a crash – with worldwide recessionary effects (though particularly nasty in the US itself).

This is likely to be exacerbated by the fact that crude oil prices are likely to face upward pressure in the near/middle term too.

Very sobering thought, in the middle of all the exuberance in the air…

1m x $100 Plans

We have discussed some of these ideas on venturewoods before, but I thought I would get more specific thoughts. We are seeing more and more businesses around the theme to offer a $100 a year service to a million users. Few ideas that have got discussed here include:
1. Online DVD rentals
2. Online photo printing
3. Online tutoring (export oriented – ok more like 100k x $1000 here)

What are the views around feasibility and scale on some of these? Will these land up being more like 100k x $ 30 plans in the online context? Given that 5-10 startups are starting out at the same time, will the market fragmentation be too high?

Any other ideas that might fall in this conceptual framework?

Naukri Lists

Naukri listed today — the stock has shot up almost 100% from the issue price, and the company has a market cap of $370m last I checked. Revenues for Mar ’07 are estimated to be around $30m,

Absolutely rocks! Congratulations to Sanjeev and his team.

Website Data

An interesting article analyzing data from Alexa.

On a world radar India hardly shows up today and this article also talks about growth in South America, China, Korea but does not mention India.

My view is that with developments such as the Reliance ( Anil Ambani Group) raising a $5 billion fund for investments in Asia ( not just India) interesting properties that figure on the world radar will emerge from India as well ?

Is that too optimistic a view ? What do others feel ?

India Tomorrow? Day After?

India Today has a cover story on Wired Generation – dont know whether its humor or satire of India’s most respect editorial team to have claimed “most of India’s 200 million middle class homes now have computers”! And this is a managing editor… not once but twice in the same article!

Now just wait and watch entrepreneurs use this “fact” in their pitches 🙂

TiE Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge

Hi all, just wanted to update that the TiE Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge is on. I had posted details on the same earlier and will not repeat the same. It is a challenge for existing entrepreneurs to showcase their aspirations, and get the best in access to mentoring and capital.

Podtech has a news item and podcast related to the same.

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