Online Fish And Meat Retailer FreshToHome Bags US$121M Series C

FreshToHome delivers fish and meat across India and the U.A.E. The startup aims to generate sales of US$200 million next year, by leveraging its latest funding to accelerate expansion.

Fish and meat ecommerce platform FreshToHome has raised US$121 million in its Series C funding round, according to a press statement released yesterday. This is the largest Series C funding in Indian consumer tech, the statement added.

It added that several investors led the current round of financing. This includes Government of Dubai’s principal investment arm Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), alternative investment firm Investcorp, Ascent Capital, U.S. International Development Finance Corp (DFC), and the Allana Group among other investors, the statement said.

This is DFC’s first equity investment in an Indian startup.

FreshToHome’s existing backer Iron Pillar also invested $19 million in the current round, the statement added. Iron Pillar had led the startup’s $20 million Series B round in August 2019.

The fresh financing brings the startup’s total funding to $151 million, according to Crunchbase data.

Other renowned backers of FreshToHome include Zynga Founder Mark Pincus, Google Ventures CEO David Krane, SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group’s Chairman Pete Briger, and Sequoia Capital India Managing Director Rajan Anandan, among others.

The Bengaluru, India-headquartered startup was established in 2015. It delivers fresh fish and meat in India and the UAE and now claims to be the world’s largest fully integrated online retailer of fresh fish and meat, according to the statement.

FreshToHome receives approximately 1.5 million consumer orders per month, and has annualized sales of $85 million on the platform, the statement noted. It added that, having leveraged its past funding, the startup has already established itself as one of the top five egrocers in the UAE.

Furthermore, according to Ascent Capital Founder and CEO Raja Kumar, FreshToHome’s collaborative approach with fishermen and farmers, and its use of tech-based solutions in procurement gives the startups an edge over other market players. The startup is also a potential contender for the unicorn club, he added.

FreshToHome will use the latest capital boost to rapidly expand across India and the Middle East, the statement said.

The startup is targeting sales of $200 million in 2021, and aims to maintain its current earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) profitability in mature cities through deeper supply chain integration, the statement added.

FreshToHome Co-founder and CEO Shan Kadavil said in the statement, “We are just beginning to scratch the surface of a very large market and the current capital raise will help us realize our full potential through rapid expansion in India and the Middle East.”

FreshToHome Brings AI To The Fish And Meat Market

According to Kadavil, FreshToHome’s patent-pending artificial intelligence (AI)-powered supply chain technology and its advanced cold chain allows sellers to directly source fish and meat from the fishermen and farmers.

Deputy CEO of ICD Khalifa Al Daboos said in the statement, “FreshToHome is a leader in leveraging AI-based technology and business innovation to bring a superior value proposition to customers and suppliers in a large and important market.”

The fish and meat market Daboos referred to is worth $94 billion in India alone, according to data from Euromonitor International.

Riding on the ecommerce boom triggered by the global pandemic, FreshToHome has also seen its demand go up, Kadavil noted.

“COVID-19 transformed the fish and meat purchasing behavior of consumers dramatically. Due to safety concerns, consumers made the habit-forming shift to ecommerce and we saw online demand for our products going up many folds this year,” Kadavil said.

Head of Private Equity at Investcorp India Gaurav Sharma said, “At Investcorp, we look at companies who redefine the category with proven top-line and bottom-line impact. We believe that FreshToHome fits this bill perfectly and is poised to achieve significant scale.”

Header image courtesy of topntp26 on Freepik

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