Bengaluru-based fish and meat retailerhas raised $104 million in its Series D round of funding led by . New investors in the round include Dubai-based E20 Investment Ltd, Bengaluru-based Mount Judi Ventures, and Jeddah-based Dallah Albaraka.
This is Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund’s first bet on a D2C retail brand. Founded in April 2021, the $250 million fund typically focuses on accelerating small- and medium-sized businesses, apart from investing in agritech and healthcare sectors.
The round also saw participation from returning investors including Iron Pillar, Investcorp, Investment Corporation of Dubai, and Ascent Capital, among others.
The fish and meat direct-to-consumer brand is now valued at $566 million, according to data research platform Tracxn.
The company plans to utilise the capital to expand its presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to Saudi Arabia. FreshToHome entered the UAE market in 2019.
“We opened up nearly 100 cities in the last 18 months and we plan on deepening our penetration. The UAE contributes nearly 10% to 15% of our revenues and India is the largest exporter of fish and meat to the geography. We would like to utilise part of the capital to expand in the country,” CEO and Co-founder, Shan Kadavil told YourStory.
FreshToHome had last raised $121 million in a Series C round led by the Investment Corporation of Dubai in October 2020. Founded in 2015 by Shahnawaz (Shan) Kadavil, the company currently has a presence across 160 cities, including seven cities in the UAE.
Apart from international expansion, FreshToHome will also add a network of 100 new offline stores over the next 12 months to 18 months, said Kadavil. The company opened its first offline store in Bengaluru in February 2021.
“We currently have 30 stores in Bengaluru and nearly 20% of our online customers are acquired through these stores, reducing our marketing costs,” he said. Kadavil further added that the meat and fish retailer had achieved operational profitability on a company level and would continue to be a ‘proficorn.’
Apart from controlling marketing costs to turn operationally profitable, FreshToHome is also leveraging its milk and daily essentials delivery business, FreshToHome Daily, to club orders for its D2C offering, thereby controlling the cost of delivery, said Kadavil. “FreshToHome Daily currently contributes 10% to our revenues and on average and our user retention is high,” he added.
FreshToHome offers over 2,000 products certified fresh and chemical-free in India and the UAE. It works with a network of over 4,000 farmers and fishers who auction their produce online for sale. The company claims to deliver the products within 24 hours to 36 hours of sourcing.
It competes with D2C meat brand Licious, which is valued at over $1 billion and has recently started offering plant-based meat alternatives through its new brand, Uncrave. Prosus Ventures backed Captain Fresh, too, operates in the space. Recently, meat and seafood brand Fipola had to wind up operations due to its inability to raise external capital.