• Chethan Machaknur

FreshToHome raises $121M – the largest ever Series C funding in India Consumer Tech

Updated: Oct 30


FreshToHome, the world’s largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce raised $121M in Series C funding led by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) - the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, Investcorp - a leading global manager of alternative investments, Ascent Capital - a leading India-focused growth capital provider,  U.S. Government’s development finance institution - DFC, the Allana Group and other investors. Iron Pillar, the lead investor from Series B participated in this round with a significant investment of $19M. Barclays was an advisor for the transaction.


“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 safety guarantee of “100% Fresh and 0% Chemicals”. FreshToHome stands by the brand’s assurance and creates enormous social and economic impact by enabling sellers to directly source from the fishermen and farmers with its patent-pending AI-powered supply chain technology and aided by a state-of-the-art cold chain. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of a very large market and the current capital raise will help us realize our full potential through rapid expansion in India and the Middle East” said Shan Kadavil, Co-Founder and CEO of FreshToHome.


As estimated by Euromonitor International, the consumer market size of fish and meat segment in India in 2019 was $94B. FreshToHome is the world’s largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce, with approximately 1.5 Million (15 Lakh) B2C orders per month and $85M (~INR 600 Crore) annualized sales run rate on the platform. FreshToHome enables its marketplace sellers to source and sell high-quality meat and fish directly from livestock farmers and fishermen in most major Indian cities (Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) and in the UAE.


“We are pleased to partner with FreshToHome and to support the vision of management and the growth of the company. FreshToHome is a leader in leveraging AI-based technology and business innovation to bring a superior value proposition to customers and suppliers in a large and important market. 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. This successful fundraising is a strong recognition of the company’s achievements and significant potential.” said Khalifa Al Daboos, Deputy CEO of Investment Corporation of Dubai. 


Shan Kadavil and other co-founders of FreshToHome have a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship background, having been part of leadership teams of companies such as Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA). Some of the early backers of FreshToHome include Mark Pincus - Zynga founder, David Krane - CEO of Google Ventures, Pete Briger - Chairman of Fortress, Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair - Chairman of Mashreq Bank, Rajan Anandan of Sequoia and other renowned investors.

“DFC’s first equity deal with FreshToHome demonstrates the power of our new equity tool to drive development and advance U.S. foreign policy,” said US Government’s DFC CEO Adam Boehler. “This project will support economic growth and strengthen agricultural supply chains in a key U.S. partner.”


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.


Gaurav Sharma, Head of Private Equity at Investcorp India added “At Investcorp, we look 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.”

FreshToHome’s brand promise of “100% Fresh and 0% Chemicals” was a big enabler of its growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its platform was also instrumental in helping thousands of fishermen and farmers sell their produce during this crisis.


“‘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,” said Raja Kumar, Founder & CEO, Ascent Capital.


About the investors


Investment Corporation of Dubai

ICD was established in May 2006 by decree (11) of 2006 under a mandate to consolidate and manage the Government of Dubai’s portfolio of commercial companies and investments. It also provides strategic oversight by developing and implementing investment strategy and corporate governance policies with an objective to maximize stakeholder value, for the long-term benefit of the Emirate.


ICD, as the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai currently has a portfolio that represents a cross-section of Dubai’s most recognized companies, in sectors that the Government of Dubai has deemed to be strategic for the continued development of the Emirate. The sectors include financial services, transportation, energy and industries, real estate and leisure, retail and other holdings. For more information about ICD please visit www.icd.gov.ae.

Investcorp

Investcorp is a global investment manager, specializing in alternative investments across private equity, real estate, credit, absolute return strategies, GP stakes and infrastructure. Since our inception in 1982, we have focused on generating attractive returns for our investors while creating long-term value in our investee companies and for our shareholders as a prudent and responsible investor.

We invest a meaningful portion of our own capital in products we offer to our investors, ensuring that our interests are aligned with our stakeholders, including the communities that we operate within, towards driving sustainable value creation. We take pride in partnering with our investors to deliver tailored solutions for their needs, utilizing a disciplined investment process, employing world-class talent and combining the resources of a global institution with an innovative, entrepreneurial approach.

Investcorp has today a presence in 12 countries across the US, Europe, GCC and Asia, including India, China and Singapore. As of June 30, 2020, Investcorp Group had US $32.2 billion in total AUM, including assets managed by third party managers, and employed approximately 450 people from 44 nationalities globally across its offices. For further information, visit www.investcorp.com and follow us @Investcorp on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

DFC


U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.


Ascent Capital

Ascent Capital, a leading Indian Private Equity firm focused on growth capital, manages about $800 million across funds backed by marquee investors from India and overseas. Some of their marquee investments include Bigbasket, Curefit, Acko, Skanray and KIMS Hospital.


Iron Pillar

Iron Pillar is a venture growth investor specializing in mid stage technology companies “Built from India”. Founded in January 2016, Iron Pillar provides growth capital and active help in global business expansion to companies in the enterprise and consumer technology sectors. The Fund backs founding teams who want to create $1B+ enterprise value companies which are built to last.


CE-Ventures

CE-Ventures is the corporate venture capital platform of Crescent Enterprises that led the Series A funding round and invested in the Series B funding round of FreshToHome. CE-Ventures focuses on strategic investments in high-growth companies and select venture funds globally across wide-ranging emerging technologies pervasive across industry sectors.


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