Indian animal protein startup Licious raises US$192m to fund future growth plans

INDIA – Licious, a direct-to-consumer fresh meat and seafood brand, has raised US$192 million in a Series F funding round led by Singapore-based investment firm Temasek and PE firm Multiples.  

Brunei Investment Agency also invested in the round, which saw participation from existing investors including 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Growth Fund, and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. 

Founded in 2015, Lucious operates five processing centers more than 90 delivery centers across all 14 Indian cities where it currently has a presence. 

The company owns and operates the entire back-end supply chain, and controls a stringent cold chain to maintain the quality and freshness of its products. 

Funds raised from this investment round will be deployed towards investment in technology-led supply chain transformation, quality improvement, customer experience elevation, and powering new product launches.  

The company also has plans to expand both in terms of the Indian cities it serves as well as global markets. 

“There is a massive opportunity to be unlocked in this large $40 billion sector which has hitherto been devoid of safety, innovation, quality & sustainability standards,” Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, co-founders, Licious, said.  

“In the coming years we will bolster our presence through multi-geo & channel presence, unlocking true disruption for the industry through deployment of top-notch tech and supply chain practices & innovating the meat & seafood product roadmap in a way that India has never experienced before,” they added. 

Economic Times India reported that Licious’ series F funding round also saw a few early angel investors exited from their investment with this round. 

Investors Mayfield and Nichirei Corp are also reported to have partially exited from the business in this round. 

 The company declined to share the valuation at which the current round was raised but sources estimate a valuation of around $650-700 million, making the startup the highest funded company in the animal protein sector. 

According to industry data, 92% of the Indian meat and seafood industry is unorganized, indicating the huge opportunity that this sector has to offer. 

Licious claims growth of over 500% in the last year and has successfully delivered to more than two million unique customers till date.  

In the last five years of operation, the company has seen a 300% growth with over 90% repeat consumption across markets.  

The company however operates in a market where it has to compete with companies such as ZappFresh and FreshToHome, which are also backed by investors. 

In October last year, FreshToHome raised $121 million in its Series C round, led by Investment Corporation of Dubai, Ascent Capital and the US Government’s development finance institution DFC, and the Allana Group. 

The recent investment will therefore help Licious to bolster its position in the market as enable it to take advantage of the existing opportunities for growth.  

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