Fresh meat startup Licious raises $25 mn from Bertelsmann, Vertex, others

Licious co-founders Abhay Hanjura (left) and Vivek Gupta
Licious, an online marketplace for fresh meat and seafood, has raised $25 million in a Series-C growth round led by Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India and UCLA. Existing investors Mayfield India, 3one4 Capital, Sistema Asia Fund and InnoVen Capital also participated in the round.

The startup would use the funds to enter newer markets such as Mumbai and Pune by the end of the year and strengthen the supply chain. It also plans to come up with its third processing plant in Mumbai to cater to consumers in the city as well as those in Pune.

“Being a modern consumer brand which places high importance on the product quality and consumer-led innovation in our product range, complemented by assured delivery promise, we wanted to establish a brand that transforms the meat industry in India,” said Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, co-founders, Licious.  

“Our strengths lie in the fact that we work on sound business fundamentals that focus on quality, sustainability and innovation, and our 90% per cent repeat customers empower us to believe that we are on the right path,” he said.

The three-year-old company follows a farm-to-fork model ensuring the right feed is given to livestock and the healthy breed is slaughtered as per the government norms after which it is transported in a cold chain environment to the processing plants where the meat is cleaned, cut, tenderised naturally, and packaged according to the safety norms.

“Direct-to-Consumer fresh food start-ups are re-defining how India produces, distributes and buys food. 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,” said Pankaj Makkar, Managing Director, Bertelsmann India Investments.

With the current round of funding, the company has so far raised $38 million in funds so far.

With a revenue of around Rs 1 billion, Licious is looking at building a Rs 25 billion business over the next five years. The company which serves over 200,000 customers, is adding 15,000 new consumers month-on-month and is fulfilling about 5,000 orders per day.

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