Have you every heard of customers loving a product so much that they want to fund it themselves?

Move over crowd-funding, as Noodle Play – Mumbai’s quirky Chindian ’29 mins or free’ delivery startup has now raised over $150,000 (Rs. 1 crore) from its own delivery-led customers. Currently delivering to over 5 locations in Mumbai (namely Bandra, Khar, Powai, Lower Parel, Worli and Goregaon), the quirky and personalized Chinese delivery startup plans to open delivery outposts in over 50 Mumbai locations by 2016 before moving to other metros and Tier-II cities.

Hitesh Bhatia
Hitesh Bhatia

A food venture by the leader of TFN (TiE Food Network) Mumbai, Hitesh Bhatia is Noodle Play’s ‘Hungry’ founder and a serial entrepreneur who has successfully metamorphosed many ventures in HR and Technology by co-founding companies such as Think People Solutions Pvt.Ltd. (A pan India technology hiring business), Think People Cumulus HR Services Pvt.Ltd. (A cumulative modern hiring business), People Force Search & Selection Pvt.Ltd., Campus Yield Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Team Force Global Pvt. Ltd.

At Noodle Play, customers have (literally) put their money where their mouth is:
Preference and belief in the product and its promise has led customers Elliot Stechman (Managing director, EK Wireless - a startup that specializes in mobile data and portable data security devices), Gautam Sinha (Co-founder of ‘myfirstcheque’ - a seed fund that helps first-generation entrepreneurs by providing the initial investment, guidance, and mentorship) and Ambarish Ray (Director and Chief Operating Officer at Metal Communications) to contribute in their personal capacities and raise an initial funding of Rs. 1 Crore.

“We intend to utilize funds raised to strengthen our backend and help in expansion across Mumbai,” says Hitesh. “Our commitment to quality and our product promise has strengthened tremendously - what better growth signs than our own customers willing to invest in a food (start-up) that they enjoy ordering from and believe in.”