New Delhi: FreshToHome, a Bengaluru-based online fresh fish and meat retailer, has raised $121 million in Series C funding led by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai.
Investcorp, Ascent Capital, The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Allana also participated in the round with significant follow-on investment of $19 million from Series B lead investor Iron Pillar.
“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,” said Shan Kadavil, Co-Founder and CEO of FreshToHome.
The company claimed that this is the largest Series C funding in Indian consumer tech start-ups.
FreshToHome directly sources fish and meat from the fishermen and farmers with its patent-pending AI-powered supply chain technology, aided by a cold chain that helps in cutting down on the middleman and reducing the supply chain to 24-36 hours. Farmers and fishermen bid for their latest yields electronically on the company’s app and this allow them to cut the middlemen, have better control over the quality of the items and reduce the prices.
The fresh food start-up reported growth aided by the pandemic as consumers made the habit-forming shift to e-commerce, backed by the brand promise of “100% Fresh and 0% Chemicals”.
Other fresh food start-ups like Licious also saw a spike in growth as consumers opted for high and safer quality of meat or fish. “Covid-19 has been a defining moment for the sector as consumers look for safer way of buying fish or meat, and freshness in perishables.” FreshToHome’s Its platform was also instrumental in helping thousands of fishermen and farmers sell their produce during this crisis. It currently has 1500 fishermen on its platform and sells across Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and in the UAE.
FreshToHome currently processes 15 Lakh orders per month on its website and app and has an annualised run rate of ₹600 crore.
“We are targeting $200 million sales in 2021 while maintaining current EBITDA profitability in mature cities through deeper supply chain integration on the platform,” added Kadvil.
“‘FreshToHome’s unique collaborative approach with fishermen, farmers, and use of tech-based solutions on procurement give them an edge in emerging as the best reliable brand in the segment and a potential contender for the Unicorn Club,” said Raja Kumar, founder and CEO, Ascent Capital.
This is also the first time that US-based DFC has invested in India.
“DFC’s first equity deal with FreshToHome demonstrates the power of our new equity tool to drive development and advance US foreign policy,” said DFC CEO Adam Boehler.
Support from its existing large West Asia-based investors such as CE-Ventures – the corporate venture capital platform of Crescent Enterprises, significantly helped in aiding its expansion in the UAE, where it is already one of the top 5 e-grocers.
According to Euromonitor International, the consumer market size of fish and meat segment in India in 2019 was $94 billion and will continue to grow rapidly.