Indian e-commerce startup FreshToHome raises funding to expand into Middle East

INDIA – Indian e-commerce company, FreshToHome, has raised $121 million in a Series C funding round to expand its service nationally and in the Middle East.

FreshToHome says that its e-commerce platform for fresh fish and meat receives around 1.5 million orders per month and generates about US$85 million (INR 600 crore approx.) in annualised sales.

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Currently, the e-commerce startup has a presence in India and also in the United Arab Emirates, where it claims to be one of the top five e-grocers.

 “We are just beginning to scratch the surface of a very large market and the current capital raise will help us realise our full potential through rapid expansion in India and the Middle East.”

Shan Kadavil – co-founder and CEO of FreshToHome

The Series C round was led by: Investment Corporation of Dubai; Investcorp; Ascent Capital; and the DFC- the US government’s development finance institution.

Iron Pillar, the lead investor in the company’s Series B round, also backed FreshToHome’s latest financing efforts with an investment of US$19 million.

Shan Kadavil, co-founder and CEO of FreshToHome, said: “Covid-19 transformed the fish and meat purchasing behaviour of consumers dramatically, making many to shift to e-commerce.”

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Prior to the pandemic, India had an e-commerce penetration rate of 40% a low figure when compared to other markets such as the United States (84%), France ( 81%), or even China (48%).

The standardized lockdown rules across India and the growing hesitation among consumers to go outside and shop for essential goods have tilted the nation towards e-commerce.

Consumers have switched from shops, supermarkets, and shopping malls to online portals for the purchase of products, ranging from basic commodities to branded goods.

This trend is expected to accelerate growth in Indian E-commerce market which was expected to grow to US$200 billion by 2026 from US$38.5 billion as of 2017.

Going by current trends, the US$200 billion target could be achieved sooner than it had been projected and companies such as FreshToHome are expected to reap big from this trend.

Kadavil noted that his company saw online demand for our products going up many folds this year.

 “We are just beginning to scratch the surface of a very large market and the current capital raise will help us realise our full potential through rapid expansion in India and the Middle East,” Kadavil added.

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