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The company targets $200 million sales in 2021 while maintaining current EBITDA profitability in mature cities through deeper supply chain integration on the platform

Bengaluru, NFAPost: FreshToHome, which sells fresh fish and meat online, on Tuesday said it has raised $121 million (about Rs 900 crore) in series C funding round led by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).

Along with ICD, Investcorp, Ascent Capital, the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Allana were also part of the funding round. Iron Pillar, the lead investor from series B round, also participated with a significant investment of $19 million, the company said in a statement. Barclays was the advisor for the transaction, it added.

FreshToHome co-founder and CEO Shan Kadavil

Expressing happiness over the investment, FreshToHome co-founder and CEO Shan Kadavil said Covid-19 transformed the fish and meat purchasing behaviour of consumers dramatically.

“Due to safety concerns, consumers made the habit-forming shift to e-commerce and we saw online demand for our products going up many folds this year thanks to the safety guarantee of 100% fresh and 0% chemicals,” said FreshToHome co-founder and CEO Shan Kadavil.

NFAPost already reported prospective investment in FreshToHome in a recently published article.

As per Euromonitor International, the consumer market size of fish and meat segment in India in 2019 was $94 billion. FreshToHome gets about 15 lakh business-to-consumer (B2C) orders per month and has $85 million (Rs 600 crore) annualised sales run rate.

Sellers marketplace

The company enables its marketplace sellers to source and sell high-quality meat and fish directly from livestock farmers and fishermen in most major Indian cities, including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and in the UAE.

Some of the early backers of FreshToHome include Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Google Ventures CEO David Krane, Fortress Chairman Pete Briger, Mashreq Bank Chairman Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, Rajan Anandan of Sequoia and other renowned investors, the statement said.

ICD Deputy CEO Khalifa Al Daboos said he is pleased to partner with FreshToHome and to support the vision of management and the growth of the company.

“At ICD, we seek to partner with companies like FreshToHome that are able to break new ground for the greater good while also enjoying a large shareholder value creation opportunity,” said ICD Deputy CEO Khalifa Al Daboos. ICD Deputy CEO Khalifa Al Daboos this successful fundraising is a strong recognition of the company’s achievements and significant potential.

Supply chains

US Government’s DFC CEO Adam Boehler said DFC’s first equity deal with FreshToHome demonstrates the power of DFC new equity tool to drive development and advance US foreign policy.

“This project will support economic growth and strengthen agricultural supply chains in a key U.S. partner,” said US Government’s DFC CEO Adam Boehler.

The unique business model of FreshToHome helps in directly sourcing fish and meat from the fishermen and farmers with its patent-pending AI-powered supply chain technology, aided by a cold chain that helps in cutting down on the middleman and reducing the supply chain to 24-36 hours.

Farmers and fishermen bid for their latest yields electronically on the company’s app and this allows them to cut the middlemen, have better control over the quality of the items and reduce the prices.

FreshToHome’s platform was also instrumental in helping thousands of fishermen and farmers sell their produce during this crisis. It currently has 1500 fishermen on its platform and sells across Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and in the UAE.

Overseas expansion

FreshToHome currently processes 15 Lakh orders per month on its website and app and has an annualised run rate of ₹600 crore.

“We are targeting $200 million sales in 2021 while maintaining current EBITDA profitability in mature cities through deeper supply chain integration on the platform,” added Kadvil.

Support from its existing large Middle East-based investors such as CE-Ventures – the corporate venture capital platform of Crescent Enterprises, significantly helped in aiding its expansion in the UAE, where it is already one of the top 5 e-grocers. FreshToHome is also planning to expand to other key GCC markets such as Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the investment, Investcorp India Head of Private Equity Gaurav Sharma added that Investcorp looks at
companies who redefine the category with proven top-line and bottom-line impact.

“We believe that FreshToHome fits this bill perfectly and is poised to achieve significant scale. We look forward to
this partnership and supporting the company in realising its full potential” said Investcorp India Head of Private Equity Gaurav Sharma.

Ascent Capital Founder & CEO Raja Kumar said FreshToHome’s unique collaborative approach with fishermen, farmers, and use of tech-based solutions on procurement give them an edge in emerging as the best reliable brand in the segment and a potential contender for the Unicorn Club.

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