India’s Freshtohome raises $11m led by HK-based CE Ventures

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Freshtohome, an online seller of fresh fish and meat, has raised $11 million (Rs 76 crore) in fresh funding led by Hong Kong-based CE Ventures.

The round also saw participation from Das Capital, Kortschak Investments, TTCER Partners, Al-Nasser Holdings, M&S Partners, Al-Nasser Holdings & Abdul Azeez Al-Ghurair from UAE, PLB other Asia and Valley-based Investors, said a company statement.

Founded in 2015 by Shan Kadavil and Mathew Joseph, the startup is currently operational in Bengaluru, Delhi/NCR, Kerala, Chennai and Dubai, and now plans to expand its operations in all tier-I cities of India including Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.

The startup will also use the funding to strengthen sourcing supply chain by extending its patent pending sourcing technology to fishermen and farmers across India, the statement added.

“We are disrupting the food supply chain in India with our patent pending commodities exchange technology offering food that is free of added chemicals to end consumers and a fair price to the producers. Most of our capital has gone into re-inventing the food supply chain,” Kadavil, founder and CEO, FreshToHome said.

“We currently sell meat and fish sourced from over 1,500 fishermen and farmers on our platform, using our state-of-the-art technology backed with cold chain infrastructure, a fleet of dedicated refrigerated trucks, using the hub and spoke distribution model from four large processing factories to ensure traceability and food safety,” he added.

The startup claims to have over 400,000 customers across four cities, connecting with local fishermen across 125 coasts in India with a business turnover of over Rs 12 crore GMV per month on its marketplace.

Freshtohome also counts Rajan Anandan, Mark Pincus, and David Krane, among its investors.

“The meat and seafood segment in India is pegged to be a $30 billion market, but we have to keep in mind that it’s a highly fragmented industry. FreshToHome.com is not only trying to streamline the industry, they’re also using technology to revolutionise the way the industry functions by disintermediating the supply chain, eliminating the middleman, and working directly with the fishermen and farmers in a market place model to make fresh and chemical free food accessible to the masses at large,” CE Ventures director Tushar Singhvi said.

Freshtohome’s competitor in the space, Licious, had raised $25 million in a Series D round led by Japanese conglomerate Nichirei Corp. in December last year. It had raised a similar amount in September from Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures, UCLA, Mayfield India, 3one4 Capital, Sistema Asia Fund and InnoVen Capital.

A month prior, Jaipur-based meat retail chain operator A&R Bon Vivants Pvt. Ltd raised a little over $1 million from Singapore-based boutique venture fund RB Investments. A&R Bon Vivants runs a chain of stores under the brand name Let’s Meat.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.