Vertex Growth Fund leads $30m funding in Indian meat startup Licious

Vertex Ventures. Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg

Gourmet meat start-up Licious, run by Delightful Gourmet Pvt. Ltd on Monday raised $30 million in a Series E round, led by Singapore-based Vertex Growth Fund (“Vertex Growth”), to help in fast tracking growth and fostering transformation of the meat and seafood ecosystem of India.

Existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and Sistema Asia Fund also participated in the round.

With the current round of fundraise, Licious achieves the rare feat of attracting the highest funding in the industry, which puts them at the forefront for transforming the way India experiences meat, the company said in a statement.

The funds raised through Series E will be deployed towards expanding presence in a greater number of Indian cities, augmenting capabilities in existing markets, strengthening omnichannel presence and powering new product launches, especially in the Ready-to-Eat category.

The company will also focus on upgrading the Indian meat and seafood ecosystem by bolstering technological intervention, expanding its pool of employees and training them on niche skills that the industry needs.

According to industry data, 92% of the Indian meat and seafood industry is still unorganised, indicating the huge, under-served community that exists, as well as the opportunity that this sector has to offer. The traditional meat and seafood industry are in dire need of tech intervention, quality standardisation and a skilled talent pool.

“Licious is working towards creating these differentiators and will stay committed towards elevating India’s meat & seafood experience,” added Gupta and Hanjura.

Hanjura and Gupta started Licious as a category-first brand in 2015. Powered by technology, Licious delivers within 120 minutes of ordering through either the web site or the Licious app. It provides end-to-end services from procuring fresh produce, processing them and storing it before delivery. The company also owns and operates fully-automated meat processing units and delivery centres.

Currently, Licious is present in seven cities and processes more than 17,000 orders a day. The 2000 employee strong company is touted as the fastest growing consumer brand in India and aims at reaching a target of 1000 crores by 2023.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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.