INDIA – Gourmet meat startup Licious is seeking to raise US$80 million from new as well as existing investors in an effort to raise enough funds to fund its business expansion.

If successful in its endevour to raise funds from investors such as TPG, General Atlantic, PremjiInvest and Multiples Alternate Asset Management, the Indian Gourmet meat startup will achieve a valuation of US$800 million.

“The company is looking to raise primary capital to fund its business expansion,” a person with knowledge of the development said.

Investment bank Avendus Capital has been asked to scout for investors. “Existing investors will also invest in this round,” another person close to the development revealed.

Founded in 2015 by Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Licious has entered the ready-to-eat market after establishing a presence in the meat and seafood segments.

In late 2019, the company raised US$30 million in a Series E round, led by Singapore-based Vertex Growth Fund with participation from existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and Sistema Asia Fund.

Licious is currently present in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune and Jaipur where it delivers more than 1 million orders each month across all markets.

Over the last eight months, business has grown by 300% driven by a 3X surge in demand across product categories and markets with the average basket size per customer growing by 30%, according to the company.

According to industry data, 92% of the Indian meat and seafood industry is unorganised, indicating the huge, under-served community that exists as well as the opportunity that this sector has to offer.

In this market, Licius competes with companies such as ZappFresh and Fresh to Home, which are also backed by investors.

There has however, been growing investor interest in the on-demand food segment, especially in the meat and seafood category.

In October last year, Fresh to Home raised US$121 million in its Series C round, led by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), Ascent Capital and the US Government’s development finance institution – DFC, the Allana Group and other investors.

Zappfresh is also in the process of raising around Rs 100 crore from investors to expand its business.

The fresh capital injection will thus be necessary for Lucious as it seeks to expand its business and better compete with rivals in a country where consumers consume meat worth around US$30 billion each year.

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