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Freshtohome nets $121 mn from Dubai wealth fund, PE firms
Shan Kadavil, co-founder and CEO of FreshToHome

Freshtohome Foods Pvt. Ltd, an online fish and meat seller, said Tuesday it has raised $121 million (Rs 893 crore) in its Series C funding round from a clutch of foreign and domestic investors.

The funding round was led by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the Gulf emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, and Bahrain-based alternative investment firm Investcorp, Freshtohome said in a statement.

Homegrown private equity firm Ascent Capital, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Allana Group and other investors also led the round. DFC is the development finance institution of the US government while Allana Group is one of India's largest exporters of processed food and farm commodities.

Existing venture capital backer Iron Pillar also participated in this round, Freshtohome said.

VCCircle had first reported in July that ICD was looking to invest in Freshtohome in a big Series C round. Last month, VCCircle reported that Freshtohome had increased the size of the Series C round after reaching out to Investcorp.

Freshtohome said the fresh capital will help it accelerate its expansion in India and in the Middle East as it targets $200 million in sales in 2021.

Shan Kadavil, co-founder and CEO of FreshToHome, said that the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the fish and meat purchasing behaviour of consumers dramatically and that this had grown online demand manifold.

Freshtohome Foods, incorporated in 2011, is a subsidiary of Singapore-based Freshtohome Pte Ltd, which also has a unit in the UAE. Kadavil started the company towards the end of 2015. Kadavil was previously the India head of Zynga Inc., creator of the once-popular online game FarmVille.

The e-commerce platform delivers fish, seafood, poultry, meat, fruit and vegetables in several cities in India. It also operates in Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Ain, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. It noted that that the consumer market size of fish and meat segment in India was $94 billion last year.

The statement said that Freshtohome had received 1.5 million business-to-consumer orders per month and recorded $85 million in annualized sales run rate on the platform.

Freshtohome had raised $11 million in a Series A round led by CE-Ventures, the venture capital arm of UAE-based diversified group Crescent Enterprises, in May last year. It snagged $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Iron Pillar in August last year.

Another heavily funded player in the online meat delivery segment is Licious, which has managed to raise close to $90 million in multiple rounds in the last five years. In its latest round in December 2019, Licious received $30 million from Sistema Asia Fund, Vertex Ventures, Bertelsmann and 3one4 Capital. Another startup Zappfresh has raised Rs 36.6 crore.

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