INDIA – Direct-to-consumer (D2C) meat and fish delivery brand FreshToHome, has received US$104 million backing from Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund and other investors from a series D funding round.

The round also saw participation from existing investors, including Iron Pillar, Investcorp, Investment Corporation of Dubai, Ascent Capital, and new investors such as E20 Investment, Mount Judi Ventures, and Dallah Albaraka. JP Morgan acted as the placement agent for FreshToHome during the fundraising.

Founded in 2015, FreshToHome offers more than 2,000 products and operates in more than 160 cities across India and the UAE.

According to FreshToHome, the investment will strengthen its mission to make 100 percent preservative and antibiotic-residue-free fish, seafood, and meat accessible and affordable to millions of meat lovers.

The funds will also be deployed in driving growth across new territories such as the 100 newly entered cities, help its expansion into the Saudi Arabia market over the next 9 to 12 months, and offline store expansion. Internationally, the startup is present in the UAE.

For offline expansion, FreshToHome plans to open 100 more stores in FY 2024. The brand first opened its offline stores in Bengaluru, and claims to acquire about 20 percent of its new consumers from these retail stores.

“This round is quite remarkable because macroeconomics is not doing the best. It’s a large bear market. Despite that, we’ve seen significant traction in fundraising,” Shan Kadavil, CEO and co-founder, FreshToHome.

We are now a ‘Proficorn’ with operational profitability across the company. As we strive to offer more value to our farmers and fishers, customers, employees, and investors, we are focused on profitability and sustainable value creation.”

 Putting into account this new funding round, the company has raised a total of US$256 million to date. In 2020, the Bengaluru-based firm raised US$121 million in its Series C round.

The round was led by Dubai’s Investment Corporation of Dubai, Investcorp, IronPillar, Ascent Capital, and the US Government’s development finance institution – DFC.

An Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund spokesperson stated that the vision with the US$250 million Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund is to empower the next generation of innovative, technology-enabled companies led by visionary founders.

He was impressed with the FreshToHome management team led by Shan Kadavil for their quality work in creating a robust technology-enabled supply chain and scalable backward integrated capabilities to serve both customers as well as farmers and fishers.

Using its FreshToHome’s technology-enabled platform, Commodities Exchange, the startup empowers over 4,000 fishermen and farmers to electronically auction their produce for sale on the company’s website.

This process eliminates middlemen and ensures that the customers get the best products within 24 to 36 hours of sourcing, the company said, adding that its core strength lies in the technology-enabled platform.

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