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By
Gowda
Captain Fresh founder Utham Gowda

Infifresh Foods Pvt. Ltd, which operates seafood-focussed business-to-business (B2B) startup Captain Fresh, has raised $2.3 million (Rs 17.2 crore at current exchange rates) in pre-Series A funding.

Early-stage investor Ankur Capital led the round, Bengaluru-based Captain Fresh said in a statement. Incubate Fund India and some Silicon Valley-based angel investors also participated in the round.

Previously, the company had raised seed capital from Nekkanti Group and Sandhya Aqua, which are exporters of frozen shrimp.

The startup – founded by Utham Gowda in April last year – says it uses technology to supply and deliver high-quality freshwater fish and seafood to retailers across all formats.

It will use the capital raised in the pre-Series A round to enhance its technological infrastructure in areas such as internet of things and data analytics.

Captain Fresh will also use the funding to expand to new cities and hire people. The company says it currently services more than 120 retail businesses.

“For suppliers, we want to provide the comfort of working with a trustworthy partner who consistently delivers on payment promises. Our traction and positive customer feedback in the last 12 months have validated the real need for what we are building,” Gowda said.

Ankur Capital partner Krishnan Neelakantan said the firm was confident of its investment because of Captain Fresh’s technology-driven business model.

“Fresh fish and seafood is an inefficient and unorganized industry, with space for technology and operation excellence to make a positive impact,” Incubate Fund India founder and general partner Nao Murakami added.

Investors

Ankur Capital invests in startups that are building out technology-led solutions. The firm says it uses a “capital plus approach” to support investee companies through engagement with sector-specific experts.

In January this year, Ankur Capital hit the first close of its second fund at Rs 240 crore (about $33.9 million). The VC firm says it expects Ankur Capital Fund II to reach its target corpus of Rs 350 crore later this year. 

Limited Partners that have invested in the fund so far include CDC Group Plc. and the Dutch Good Growth Fund, as well as the state-run Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).

Earlier this month, Ankur Capital participated in a $2 million pre-Series A funding round in BigHaat Agro Pvt. Ltd, which operates an online agricultural inputs platform. Other recent investments include agri-tech startup Vegrow and a healthy snacks maker.

Incubate Fund India is part of the Japan-based Incubate Fund. According to its website, the VC is a seed-focussed firm, and it set up its Indian arm in 2016. Apart from Murakami, other members of this team include Masahiko Honma, Rajeev Ranka and Dave Kwong.

The firm has invested in companies such as Info Edge (India) Ltd-backed ShopKirana, co-living firm StayAbode, e-mobilit startup Yulu and hiring-focussed platform Skillate.

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