• Ahmedabad-based new-age ice cream brand Hocco has recently concluded a Rs 100 crore.

  • The round is led by the Chona family, along with existing investor Sauce VC Foundation.

  • The ice cream industry in India, estimated to be around $5 billion this year.

Ahmedabad-based new-age ice cream brand Hocco has recently concluded a Rs 100 crore ($12 million) fundraising, led by its promoter group, the Chona family, along with existing investor Sauce VC. This significant capital infusion, which occurred at a valuation of Rs 600 crore post-investment, also saw participation from prominent angel investors including film producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar.

Following this funding round, Sauce VC, a consumer-focused investment firm known for backing innovative brands like Mokobara and The Whole Truth, now owns approximately a 10% stake in Hocco.

Hocco, which began its journey in October of last year, has experienced an overwhelming response. “We were optimistic, but the scale of our growth exceeded expectations. We reached milestones in our first year that we anticipated achieving in the second or third year,” said Chona. He highlighted that the company’s plant capacity is currently between 40,000-50,000 litres a day, far surpassing their initial projection of 15,000 litres by May. Hocco plans to triple this capacity by next summer, reaching 130,000 litres a day.

The ice cream industry in India, estimated to be around $5 billion this year, has seen a surge in new-age brands over recent years. These emerging brands, such as Noto, Get-A-Way, Go Zero, Frubon, and Minus 30, are striving to carve out a niche in a market historically dominated by legacy players like Amul, Mother Dairy, Hindustan Unilever’s Kwality Walls, and the Jaipuria group-owned Cream Bell. Risk capital investors in this space include DSG Consumer Partners, Jungle Ventures, Saama Capital, and Fireside Ventures.

Manu Chandra, founder and managing partner of Sauce VC, noted the rapid growth in the ice cream market as a reflection of increasing disposable incomes being channelled towards impulse and indulgence categories. “”Quick commerce channels cater to digitally savvy consumers seeking instant gratification for their sugar cravings, a convenience that wasn’t available five years ago,” he explained.,” he explained. Chandra emphasized that their consumer research revealed that existing brands at Hocco’s price point do not resonate with Gen Alpha, Gen Z, and millennials.

In April, it was reported that Hindustan Unilever, India’s largest FMCG company, is considering spinning off its ice cream business, possibly in preparation for an eventual sale. This category accounts for around Rs 2,000 crore, roughly 3% of HUL’s sales.

Chona stated that Hocco is leveraging quick commerce as a strategy to expand beyond Gujarat, its primary market. “Currently, most of our revenue comes from Gujarat, with a growing contribution from quick commerce. We started quick commerce in February, and our sales through this channel have been doubling every month,” he shared. They plan to achieve double its sales in FY26 compared to FY25 by deepening their penetration in Gujarat and expanding into nearby regions. By next summer, they will launch in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Delhi-NCR,” Chona said.

Chona also highlighted the potential of quick commerce as a significant disruptor in the ice cream industry. “Ice cream is an impulse product, and quick commerce meets this demand with 10-minute deliveries. The main challenge is the extensive range of brands on these platforms, which limits SKU depth. Nevertheless, it presents a huge opportunity,” he added.

Hocco’s strategic plans and rapid growth indicate its readiness to compete in the dynamic and expanding Indian ice cream market, leveraging modern commerce channels and responding to changing consumer preferences.