Bengaluru-based gourmet meat delivery startup Licious has raised $25 Mn in Series C growth round of funding led by Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India along with UCLA.
Existing investors including Mayfield India, 3one4 Capital, Sistema Asia Fund and InnoVen Capital also participated in the round.
The company will use the newly raised funds to expand to new cities, fostering the value-added product category, and strengthening the supply chain.
Licious is built on the farm to fork business model, which owns the entire back-end supply chain powered by stringent cold chain control to maintain the quality and freshness of each product from the time of procurement, processing, storage to the time it reaches the end consumer.
“With investors existing and new sharing our conviction in building an ecosystem which challenges the status quo, we are extremely bullish about our plans going ahead. These funds will greatly aid us in deepening and widening our market presence and enable us to offer new products and services our customers will love,” said Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, co-founders, Licious.
Investec acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Licious on this transaction.
Here’s a quick look into last funding rounds of Licious:
- Seed investment of about $1 Mn (INR 6.4 Cr) in 2015 from angel investors such as Mohandas Pai, Kanwaljeet Singh and Kaushal Agarwal
- In April 2016, the company announced a $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr) Series A fundraise from Mayfield Capital and 3one4 Capital
- In May 2017, the company raised $10 Mn in Series B funding led by Mayfield India, 3one4 Capital, Sistema Asia Fund, and Neoplux Technology Fund
In the fresh meat category, some of the popular products that Licious specialises in include chicken breast, chicken drumsticks, goat keema, lamb chops, among others.
Apart from red meat and poultry, the gourmet meat company also offers a range of fish and seafood products such as basa fillet, mackerel, sardine, prawns, etc. Some of the exotic meat varieties that Licious offers on its platform include turkey, blue crab, quail and Atlantic salmon.
“Licious with their robust supply chain and seamless farm to fork model addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the consumer when it comes to their purchase experience and quality of the product. We have strong conviction in the founding team’s vision and strategy to build Licious as the most trusted brand for fresh food and gourmet food products, in India” said Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director, Bertelsmann India Investments.
The company had recently announced its plans to enter the Mumbai and Pune market by end of 2018, after Delhi NCR, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The company claimed to witness accelerated growth in terms of reach, accessibility, product innovation and excellence.
In 2018, the company also received certification of FSSC22000, one of the highest food safety certifications in the world, and also added an expansive range of value-added products to its fresh meat and seafood portfolio with spreads, marinades and pickles.
Licious claims to record 90% repeat business monthly. The founders had earlier told Inc42 that the number of orders grew from 1,000 in July 2015 to 5,500 daily orders currently, with an average ticket size of $8.4 (INR 550).
Meat Industry In India
In the burgeoning online meat delivery space, Licious competes with a number of players such as Zappfresh, EasyMeat, Brown Apron and MeatRoot, among others.
India is currently the second largest processed meat and poultry market, growing at a CAGR of 22%, according to the global market intelligence agency Mintel.
In March 2018, Gurugram-based Zappfresh raised around $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr) in a funding led by Amit Burman, vice-chairman of Dabur India. The fundraise also saw the participation of SIDBI Venture Capital.
Recently, grocery delivery company BigBasket announced its plans to bring out a new category of meat and set up a deeper supply chain to focus exclusively on the business.
India consumes close to $30 Bn worth of meat annually, while a research shows that there will be around 80% growth in meat demand by 2022. The Indian meat market is expected to reach $65 Bn by 2022.
With such huge market in making, early players like Licious have found an edge to manage their presence in the industry.