Fresh fish and meat e-commerce platform FreshToHome raised a $121 million Series C round of funding in what the company is touting as the largest-ever Series C funding in India consumer technology.
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Co-founder and CEO Shan Kadavil and some of his other co-founders met while working at Zynga. Most of the meat sold in India is fresh versus frozen, and is managed in unhygienic conditions. As such, Bangalore-based FreshToHome’s marketplace aims to take out the middlemen by enabling its sellers to source and sell high-quality meat and fish directly from livestock farmers and fishermen, Kadavil told Crunchbase News.
“The market is unorganized right now, and the supply chain is complex,” he said. “From the time that the fish travels from the coast to the city, there are three levels of middlemen before it is sold to the consumer. You also can’t keep meat outside for longer than 30 minutes without some kind of chill, so you have to add preservatives. We are changing that.”
The round was led by Investment Corporation of Dubai, the principal investment arm of the government of Dubai, Investcorp, Ascent Capital, U.S. International Development Finance Corp. (DFC), the Allana Group and other investors. In addition, existing investor Iron Pillar, contributed $19 million to the round.
The investment gives the company a total of $151 million raised since it was founded in 2015. That includes a $20 million Series B round led by Iron Pillar in 2019.
“DFC’s first equity deal with FreshtoHome demonstrates the power of our new equity tool to drive development and advance U.S. foreign policy,” said DFC CEO Adam Boehler in a written statement. “This project will support economic growth and strengthen agricultural supply chains in a key U.S. partner.”
Kadavil explained that while people think India includes mostly vegetarian eaters, the consumer market size of the fish and meat segment in that country in 2019 was actually $94 billion, according to Euromonitor International.
FreshToHome has grown four times in the past year and has captured about $80 million in annualized sales while managing 1.5 million business-to-consumer orders per month in most major Indian cities and in the United Arab Emirates, he added.
The new funding will go toward expanding into more Indian cities, the first of which being Calcutta and into Saudi Arabia. In addition, the company is looking to deepen its supply chain in fish and chicken, as well as add mutton. The company has offices across India and also locally in the UAE and Dubai.
“COVID was a tailwind for us,” Kadavil said. “Most fish and meat consumption is from wet markets, which are crowded, so there was a big move to contactless delivery. The meat market is 0.3 percent in India, so there is huge room to grow. We are targeting $200 million in annual recurring revenue.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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