In a Series-C funding round co-led by GS Ventures, CJ Investment, Mirae Asset Securities, NCORE Ventures, Woori Bank, Capstone Partners, Big Basin Capital, DS Asset Management, and Pureun Investment, the pizza company GOPIZZA with headquarters in Korea, has raised $25 million (INR 200 crore).
The new funding will be used for business expansion in India, supported by cutting-edge robotic and AI technologies. One-person, oval, fire-baked pizzas from GOPIZZA are renowned for their short serving times and reasonable prices. GOPIZZA operates 160 locations in South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Hong Kong.
The first GOPIZZA outlet in India opened in Bangalore in 2019, offering superior one-person pizzas at affordable prices. Woori Bank, Capstone Partners, Big Basin Capital, DS Asset Management, and DSC Investment had previously invested $20 million in the company.
The brand is mulling aggressive expansion across India
The brand has 15 stores in India and will open its first store in Hyderabad next month. The company hopes to have 25 stores by the end of 2022 and more than 100 stores by 2023. To ensure timely, standardized quality and customer service at all outlets, the single-serving pizza brand will also introduce its patented in-house technology – The GOVEN, an automatic pizza oven, the ‘GOBOT,’ a cooperative robot, and the ‘AI Smart Topping Table.’
Mahesh Reddy, CEO of GOPIZZA India, says, “The funding raised will allow us to scale our operations across the country massively and further cement our position in the Indian market to become the pan-India market leader in the segment. Our expansion plan is to launch 100 stores by 2023. The funds will also be deployed to bring the brand’s famed technology to all outlets in India, providing speedy, superior quality pizzas that GOPIZZA is known for and loved by customers worldwide.”
GOPIZZA success comes from catering to the local taste in India
Jae Won Lim founded GOPIZZA in 2017. In 2016, 27-year-old Lim started serving tasty, one-person-sized pizzas from a food truck on the premise that pizzas could be inexpensive when eaten by an individual alone.
Spurred by the immense popularity of these oval-shaped pizzas, he established his first outlet in South Korea in 2017. Since then, GOPIZZA has expanded to five countries with over 160 stores. With its unique take on pizza, the Korean brand now aims to make people consider it a single-serving dish, intending to expand to more than 300 locations in the next two years, making it a truly global pizza chain.
Since its inception, GOPIZZA’s strategy in India has been adapted to the market’s preferences with a localized menu, as opposed to that in Korea and Singapore. GOPIZZA will open locations in the following cities over the coming few years: Pune, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and some significant Tier 2 cities like Chandigarh, Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Kochi. The brand will also expand into new markets in the US, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Jae Won Lim, Founder and CEO of GOPIZZA, says, “Owing to our great performance in the last few years, we are delighted to announce a big round of funding. We are very excited to bring the Korean vibe and our state-of-the-art food technology to the fastest-growing market in the world. India is a key market for us, and most of the investment will be directed to the Indian market, where we plan to expand to more than 100 stores by 2023.”