Licious raises $30M to grow its meat and seafood e-commerce platform in India

Licious, a Bangalore-based startup that sells fresh meat and seafood online, has secured $30 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in the nation.

The new financing round, dubbed Series E, for the four-year-old startup was led by Singapore-based Vertex Growth Fund, it said Monday. Existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and Sistema Asia Fund also participated in the round.

The Series E pushes Licious’ to-date raise to $94.5 million.

Licious operates an eponymous e-commerce platform to sell meat and seafood in seven cities in India (Bengaluru, NCR, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Mumbai, Pune, and Chennai). The startup does not stock any inventory, so any raw material it procures, it processes and ships that on the same day or next. It processes more than 17,000 orders everyday.

The startup, which employs more than 2,000 people, has built its own supply chain network to control sourcing and production of food, it said. Licious executives said the startup is growing at a healthy rate of 300% year-over-year and aims to generate $140 million in annual revenue by 2023.

Licious will use the fresh capital to expand to more cities in India, and launch new products, said Vivek Gupta, co-founder of the startup.

The startup competes with Bangalore-based FreshToHome, which has amassed more than 650,000 customers in 10 cities in India. As of August, when FreshToHome raised $20 million in a new funding round, the startup was handling 14,000 orders a day.

Gupta said the vast majority of the Indian meat and seafood industry remains unorganized, which has created an immense opportunity for startups to address the sector. The cold-chain market of India is estimated to grow to $37 billion in the next five years, according to industry estimates.

“The traditional meat and seafood industry are in dire need of tech intervention, quality standardisation and a skilled talent pool. Licious is working towards creating these differentiators and will stay committed towards elevating India’s meat and seafood experience,” he said.

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