Fresh meat and seafood brand Licious has raised $25 million in a Series C round led by Bertelsmann India, Vertex Ventures along with UCLA. Existing investors Mayfield India, 3one4 Capital, Sistema Asia Fund and InnoVen Capital also participated in the round.
The funds will be deployed towards expansion and strengthening the supply chain.
Licious follows farm to fork model which allows it to own the entire back-end supply chain. It ensures the quality and freshness of each product from the time of procurement, processing, storage to the time it reaches the end consumer.
Previously, the Mohandas Pai-backed company had raised about $14 million risk capital from Mayfield and Sistema Asia Fund.
Besides raw meat, Licious also entered into the marinades space last year. Founded by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta – Licious currently operates in Delhi (NCR), Bengaluru and Hyderabad. With this round, it is also foraying into Mumbai and Pune.
The fresh meat, seafood, and poultry set to garner a significant demand in at least top 10 cities in India. Of late, Licious seems to have been more visible and able to penetrate the premium meat eaters in India.
Currently, the fresh meat industry is pegged at Rs 1,80,000 crore. It’s largely unorganised as over 90 per cent of the market dominated by local butcher shops. This essentially gives an immense opportunity for companies like Licious to grow in top 10 cities.
Licious competes with Zappfresh, EasyMeat, MeatRoot and a few others. Six months ago, Zappfresh had bagged $3 million from Amit Burman, Vice Chairman of Dabur India and SIDBI Venture Capital.
Meanwhile, to ensure the availability of clean and safe meat products to consumers, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had launched a ‘Clean and safe meat’ initiative.
Under the initiative, FSSAI will conduct mandatory third-party audits of supply chains of e-commerce companies including Licious that sell meat and meat products.