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Iron Pillar leads Series B funding in Freshtohome
Team Freshtohome

Bengaluru-based online fish and meat seller Freshtohome Foods Pvt. Ltd said on Monday it has raised $20 million (Rs 143.3 crore) in its Series B round of funding led by venture capital firm Iron Pillar.

Japanese investor Joe Hirao, the founder of multi-business firm ZIGExN, also participated in the funding round, Freshtohome said in a statement.

This funding comes just three months after the company raised $11 million in a Series A round led by CE-Ventures, the VC arm of the UAE-based diversified group Crescent Enterprises.

Freshtohome will use the fresh capital to expand in India and the UAE and diversify its product offerings.

“This is our first investment into the food-tech space and we wanted to be certain of the value offered by the brand and strong technology enabled moats for the business,” said Anand Prasanna, managing partner at Iron Pillar. “Freshtohome’s brand proposition has been to provide 100% fresh food with zero per cent chemicals, not an easy thing to achieve in India at a large scale.” 

Freshtohome, which recently went offline, is present across nine cities in India including in the national capital region, Bengaluru and Mumbai. It claims to execute about 14,000 orders a day, selling 20 tonnes of fish and meat daily. Freshtohome competes with the likes of Licious and Zappfresh. 

Freshtohome founder Shan Kadavil was previously the India head of Zynga Inc., creator of the once-popular online game FarmVille, from February 2010 to March 2015.

According to a media report, Kadavil, a customer of Mathew Joseph-founded SeaToHome, was pained to know the platform was shutting down. Hence, he decided to give SeaToHome a new lease of life and relaunched it as Freshtohome towards the end of 2015, along with a team of people from Zynga.

Kadavil is also the co-founder and managing director of Dbaux.com, which offers ConnectivityStation, a device that provides connectivity solutions to enterprises.

Iron Pillar's investments 

The VC firm had marked the final close of its maiden fund at $90 million in October last year.

Its investments include Servify, a startup that offers brand-authorised after-sales service for devices; Hyderabad-based small and medium enterprise-focussed software-as-a-service startup NowFloats Technologies, specialty pharmaceutical company Vyome Therapeutics Inc. and online jewellery platform Bluestone.com. 

Other players 

Delightful Gourmet Pvt Ltd, the Bengaluru-based startup that owns online meat and fish ordering platform Licious, had raised $25 million in a Series D funding round led by Japanese conglomerate Nichirei Corporation last December.

Gurugram-based DSM Fresh Foods Pvt. Ltd, which runs Zappfresh, raised $3 million in a round led by Amit Burman, vice-chairman of consumer goods major Dabur India Ltd, in March last year.

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