Bengaluru-based gourmet meat startup Licious has raised $192 Mn in its Series F funding round led by Singapore-headquartered investment company Temasek, and other private equity investors.
Brunei Investment Agency and other existing investors including 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Growth Fund, and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India also participated in the current round.
With this round, a few early investors have exited from their investment. The current round of fundraise, makes Licious the highest funded company in the D2C meat category. To date, Licious has raised around $158 Mn from multiple investors including the current round.
The funds raised through Series F will be deployed towards investment in technology, supply chain, quality and customer experience improvement along with expanding presence in a greater number of Indian cities.
Licious also plans to use the funding for international expansion, augmenting capabilities in existing markets, strengthening omnichannel presence and powering new product launches.
Investment banking firm Avendus was the exclusive financial adviser to Licious for the transaction. The deal is likely to value Licious at around $600 Mn, according to an earlier estimate from Entrackr.
Founded in 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Licious functions on the farm to fork business model, meaning that the company owns the entire back-end supply chain. This also includes stringent cold chain control, which helps it to maintain the quality and freshness of each product from the initial stages — procurement, processing, storage — till the time it reaches the customers.
In the fresh meat category, Licious specialises in chicken breast, chicken drumsticks, goat keema and lamb chops, among others. Besides this, the company also offers a range of fish and seafood products, which include basa fillet, mackerel, sardines and prawns, etc. Licious also deals in exotic meat varieties like turkey, blue crab, quail and Atlantic salmon.
In 2018, Licious also received a certification of FSSC22000, which is one of the highest food safety certifications in the world. With that certification, the startup also expanded its catalogue to include value-added products to its fresh meat and seafood portfolio with spreads, marinades and pickles.
Commenting on the fresh round of fundraise, Vivek Gupta & Abhay Hanjura, Cofounders, Licious, said that There is still a massive opportunity to be unlocked in the D2C meat category which is a $40 Bn sector globally.
“In the coming years we will bolster our presence through multi-geo & channel presence, unlocking true disruption for the industry through deployment of top-notch tech and supply chain practices & innovating the meat & seafood product roadmap in a way that India has never experienced before,” both the cofounders added in a statement on July 2.
Currently, Licious is present in 14 Indian cities. This 3500+ employee strong company is touted as the fastest growing consumer brand in India. The startup also claims to have successfully delivered to more than 2 million unique customers till date.
Licious currently competes with other fresh meat delivery startups such as Freshtohomw which has raised $121 Mn in its Series C funding in August 2020. Other brands in this space include Zappfresh, and Bigbasket which also sells its own range of private labels in the fresh and gourmet meat category.