Rasa raises funds to grow in Series A round led by Rellevant Partners

Series A funding round to fuel expansion, investment in technology

Fast-casual Rasa raised additional capital in a completed Series A financing round led by Rellevant Partners, a women-founded growth equity firm. Janice Meyer and Jessica Kates head Rellevant Partners. Rasa, a customizable, Indian bowl concept based in Washington, DC, will use the funds for expansion and related technology initiatives.

Establishing a compelling growth concept

Sahil Rahman and Rahul Vinod—two lifelong best friends—founded Rasa. Their parents run two highly-regarded Indian restaurants in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of DC and Rockville, Md.

For many, Indian food had not been so approachable. The founders wanted to diminish barriers for consumers wanting to experience Indian cuisine. The newly-announced funding round marks a milestone moment for the concept, the companies noted.

“Since we started Rasa, our primary goal has been to use food as a vehicle for connecting our communities. It’s been incredible to see so many wake up to the wonders of Indian cuisine,” said Rahman. “We are honored to have the support of the top-notch team at Rellevant Partners as we move into our next chapter as a company and continue pursuing this mission.”

The Rasa restaurant concept is not short on acclaim, winning several awards since its founding. These include Eater Young Guns Award, StarChefs Best Concept Mid-Atlantic, and being named Best New Restaurant and Best Fast Casual by Washington City Paper.

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Growing beyond DC

“Rasa’s unique brand fills a major void in the industry,” said Meyer. “The quality, flavor profile, and affordability of its offerings positions the company to become the clear leader in the category.”

Kates added, “Not only is the brand truly differentiated, but Sahil and Rahul are dynamic entrepreneurs with whom Janice and I are excited to partner. Rellevant is passionate about discovering and supporting the next generation of champions in the culinary landscape and Rasa fits squarely within that strategy.”

The fast casual opened in Navy Yard, Rasa’s inaugural store, Mount Vernon Triangle and National Landing. With the finalized Rellevant Partners round, Rasa plans further inroads in the Metro-DC area while evaluating further expansion on the East Coast. While Rasa continues to elevate the customizable bowl, there are national and regional chains that will compete for market share, including Curry Up Now, Choolah and Masala Wok.

The DC-based chain has grown into a vital community partner. It provided over 75,000 meals to-date to people in need. Furthermore, Rasa raised over $70,000 in collaboration with the Vernon Davis Foundation. In addition, it partnered with numerous non-profits to do good. These initiatives include Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen, Off Their Plate, Real Food for Kids, and Feed the Fridge.

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An announcement regarding the financing round did not disclose terms of the deal.

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