INDIA – Licious, an Indian online fresh meat and seafood brand has closed US$30 million Series E funding round led by Bengaluru-based investor Vertex Growth.
Licious’ existing set of backers, which includes, 3one4 Capital, Bertelsman India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India and Sistema Asia Fund also participated in the latest investment round.
Founded by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta in 2015, the starup has 2,000 employees and is present in seven cities across India. It processes more than 17,000 orders a day and is targeting Rs 1,000 crores by 2023.
Powered by technology, Licious provides end-to-end services from procuring fresh produce, to processing and storing it before delivery. Currently, Licious owns and operates fully-automated meat processing units and delivery centres.
Licious intends to use the proceedings of the funding round in expanding its presence, boosting its product line in the ready-to-eat space while also augmenting capabilities in existing markets.
The four-year-old startp seeks to capitalize on the fragmented meat and seafood industry in India especially as the industry projections show that the county’s cold-chain market is expected to be a US$37 billion market by 2024.
“The fact that 92% of the Indian meat and seafood industry is still unorganised, indicates the huge, underserved community that exists, as well as the opportunity that this sector has to offer.
The traditional meat and seafood industry are in dire need of tech intervention, quality standardisation and a skilled talent pool,” Licious founders Hanjura and Gupta jointly said in the company-issued statement.
Tam Hock Chuan, managing partner of Vertex Growth, said: “Licious is building a company and brand that is synonymous with the freshest meat and meat products.
“We are confident that the team’s capabilities and technologies it has established across its entire supply chain will achieve this and allow Licious to deliver value to consumers in India.”
There has been growing investor interest in the on-demand food segment, which has particularly garnered support evidenced by the recent millions of dollars invested in startups like BigBasket, Grofers, Zomato, HungerBox and FreshToHome among others.
HungerBox, an food tech startup that has courted 10 of the 11 largest companies in the country to use its services, has announced that its has raised US$12 million from Paytm and other investors as it looks to expand its services in India and beyond.