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Japan's Nichirei Corp leads Series D investment in meat ordering platform Licious
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Delightful Gourmet Pvt Ltd, the Bengaluru-based startup that owns online meat and fish ordering platform Licious, has raised $25 million (Rs 185 crore at current exchange rates) in a Series D funding round led by Japanese conglomerate Nichirei Corporation, said a company statement.

Existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures, UCLA Investment Company and Sistema Asia Fund participated in the round. The latest round takes the total capital raised by Licious to $64 million.

Tokyo based Nichirei is widely regarded as a pioneer in the food industry in Japan and deals in a range of businesses such as food processing, food trading, food logistics and biosciences. “These funds will greatly aid our vision to build an Indian food brand with a global outlook.” Licious founders Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta said in the statement.

The company will use the funds from the Series D round to launch operations in seven cities including Mumbai, Pune and Chennai next year besides strengthening its value-added product portfolio and supply chain. Currently, the company has a presence in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi.

Hanjura, an executive from the insurance industry, and Gupta, a former finance controller at Helion Venture Partners, started Licious in June 2015. The company now operates 11 warehousing centres in Bengaluru and not only procures fresh produce but also processes, stores and delivers it. It claims to have a customer base of 60,000 with 90% repeat business on a monthly basis.

This is the second time that Licious is raising funds this year. It raised a $25 million Series C round in September. In March last year, it raised$10 million (Rs 65 crore) in a Series B round.

The company competes with Gurugram-based DSM Fresh Foods Pvt. Ltd, which runs a similar platform called Zappfresh. In March this year, Zappfresh raised Rs 20 crore ($3 million) in a round led by Amit Burman, vice-chairman of consumer goods major Dabur India Ltd.

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