Google Food: Bored of Tech. tries hands at cooking
Posted May 9, 2008on:
Google has made an interesting purchase that savvy watchers of the VC world have noted, in one of those situations where you have to play the shell game of ‘watch the money flow.’ Erasmic Venture Fund is a VC fund backed by Google, one that has put money into very Web 2.0 sounding ventures like Myntra, Dovetail and ChakPak (go check their site to see the logos, you’ll catch my meaning).
Erasmic recently threw some money into a Bangalore-based fast food chain named Kaati Zone, whose corporate cultural equivalent in America seems to be Wendy’s. The terms of the investment weren’t disclosed, but the investment itself is funny and easy to poke fun at.
For instance, just pondering the question “What interest could Google have in Indian Fast Food?” yeilds interesting results. Perhaps it’s cheaper for them to buy a chain of Indian restaurants than it is for them to set up the legendary cooking staff they have at the Mountain View Googleplex? Maybe they’re starting to tire of owning everything digital and want to truly venture out into meatspace (pun completely intended). Or perhaps they want to organize the world’s data, and the next step in that conquest is to robotize a fast food chain from A to Z.
The actual reason is much more dreary. Google, back in November stated a desire to foray more heavily into Indian startups and funding situations. PE Hub says that Kaati Zone is promoted by Kiran Nadkarni, whom Business Standard calls the father of Indian venture capital. This was a ’scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ situation; Erasmic needed an in to the Indian markets, and Nadkarni said “Sure, as long as you fund part of my fast food chain.”