FreshToHome raises $121 million in Series C round

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on October 27, 2020

FreshToHome, the five-year-old fresh fish and meat e-commerce brand, 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, DFC — the US government’s development finance institution — the Allana Group and other investors.

Iron Pillar, the lead investor from Series B, participated in this round with a significant investment of $19 million. Barclays was an advisor for the transaction.

“This is the largest ever Series C funding in consumer tech in India. Covid-19 transformed the fish and meat purchasing behaviour of consumers dramatically. Due to safety concerns, consumers made the habit-forming shift to e-commerce and we saw online demand for our products going up by 4x in the last 12 months, thanks to the safety guarantee of ‘100% Fresh and 0% Chemicals’,” said Shan Kadavil, co-founder and CEO of FreshToHome.

“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,” he added.

Kadavil and other co-founders of FreshToHome have a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship background, having been part of leadership teams of companies such as Nasdaq-listed Zynga. Some of the early backers of FreshToHome include Zynga founder Mark Pincus , Google Ventures CEO David Krane, Fortress Chairman Pete Briger, Mashreq Bank Chairman Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, and Sequoia’s Rajan Anandan, among others. With this fresh funding, FreshToHome has raised a total of $152 million since its inception.

Market size

FreshToHome enables its marketplace sellers to directly source from fishermen and livestock farmers with its patent-pending AI-powered supply chain technology, aided by a state-of-the-art cold chain. It delivers to customers in Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and in the UAE. The funds raised will be used to expand to Kolkata, Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Lucknow, Jaipur, 22 cities in Kerala and Saudi Arabia.

The company has established an offline footprint with 17 express stores in Bengaluru and Chennai and has partnered with Future Group to set up 10 shop-in-shops in Nilgiris and EasyDay stores.

The consumer market size of the fish and meat segment in India in 2019 was $94 billion and is growing at a CAGR of 20 per cent, as estimated by Euromonitor International.

“FreshToHome is the world’s largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce, with approximately 15 lakh B2C orders per month and ₹600-crore ($85-million) annualised sales run rate on the platform. We are already EBITDA profitable in two of our markets — Bengaluru and Delhi and are on target to hit ₹1,500 crore ($20 million) in ARR in 2021,” said Kadavil, adding that the company is looking to raise additional capital in future to support its growth plans.

While FreshToHome considers Licious and BigBasket as its closest competitors, Kadavil said, the actual competition comes from the traditional wet markets that constitute 99.97 per cent of sales of fish, chicken and meat in India.

Published on October 27, 2020

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