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D2C Unicorn Licious Backs Pet Food Startup Pawfectly Made; Adds Pet Food Offerings

D2C Unicorn Licious Backs Pet Food Startup Pawfectly Made; Adds Pet Food Offerings

Licious has invested $1 Mn in Bengaluru-based fresh pet food startup Pawfectly Made

With this deal, Pawfectly Made will continue to function as a separate entity with its own production processes and supply chain

Licious is expanding its product offerings amid the rising competition in the fresh meat industry

D2C unicorn startup Licious has invested $1 Mn in Bengaluru-based fresh pet food startup Pawfectly Made. As a part of the deal, Licious has become a strategic partner to the pet food startup.

The latest development shows Licious growing interest in the pet food industry. Besides adding the pet food category to the product portfolio, Licious will reportedly continue to expand its product offerings with a strong focus on the ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat categories. It said, it will add several new products in the coming months as well. 

Licious has recently introduced a range of fish and seafood products including basa filet, mackerel, sardines and prawns in its offerings. It also added turkey, blue crab and other exotic meat food in its product category.

The D2C unicorn is currently facing competition from gourmet meat players such as FreshToHome, Zappfresh, and TenderCuts. 

Following this investment, Pawfectly Made will continue to function as a separate entity with its own production processes and supply chain.

Licious said that it sees a strong synergy with Pawfectly Made in the fresh meat industry. The investment will widen its product offerings and also, give more choices to the end consumers.  

Founded in 2020 by Arpita Ganesh, Pawfectly Made delivers pet meals to the customers’ doorstep. It prepares pet meals through human grade ingredients and farm produce. Its offerings include puppy meals, adult pet meals, treats for dogs and small meal samples. 

Founded in 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Licious offers a variety of fresh meat, fish and seafood products to the customers. It operates the entire back-end supply chain, delivering products to the customers’ doorstep. 

In October 2021, Licious raised $52 Mn in its Series G round led by IIFL AMC’s Late Stage Tech Fund, Avendus FLF and others, marking the D2C startups’ entry in the coveted unicorn club.

Prior to this, it raised $192 Mn in its Series F round led by Temasek. Other PE investors include Brunei Investment Agency and existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Growth Fund, and Vertex Ventures also participated in the round. 

In August 2021, Licious launched its maiden Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) monetisation option for its employees including blue-collar workforce. At the time of reporting, the startup had more than 3500 employees across different disciplines and functions. The buyback option worth INR 30 Cr would benefit over 600 employees. 

According to a report, the Indian meat market was estimated at INR 330K Cr in 2019 and will cross INR 460K Cr by 2024. The industry is largely unorganised but is growing with the help of online gourmet businesses such as Licious and FreshToHome. 

In essence, the online meat providers have gained popularity in the Indian meat market owing to integrated supply chains and high-quality meat products that they offer to customers.