India’s direct-to-consumer fresh meat brand Licious has raised $52 million in a funding round led by IIFL Asset Management Late Stage Tech Fund. This makes Licious the first D2C startup in the country to attain unicorn status.
The exclusive financial advisor to Licious for this transaction was Avendus FLF who also participated in this financing round. This fundraise will help the Bengaluru-based startup to compete better with other players in the country such as Zappfresh, FreshToHome, as well as big players such as Swiggy and BigBasket.
Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, co-founders of Licious, said, “Even though the funding for D2C sector has grown significantly, FMCG is still not considered the most attractive category. We expect that Licious’ Unicorn status will change that. The fresh meats and seafood sector is still largely underserved and unorganised that holds a vast opportunity of $40 billion. As the category leader, we aim at paving the way for a second wave of young start-ups that can join hands in fully harnessing the potential that the industry has to offer. We will continue to build the category through investments in technology for supply chain excellence, product innovation, talent, and vendor partner upgrades.”
The fresh funding has come in just three months after it raised $192 million in a funding round led by Teamsek and 3one4 capital.
Founded in 2015, Licious is run by Delightful Gourmet Pvt. and sells fresh meat and seafood online in 14 cities of India. The company has built a supply chain network across various cities in India to be able to procure seafood and meat, keep it fresh, and deliver within a few hours of the order.
Licious aims to further its journey in the fresh meat delivery segment with this investment and is working towards building a responsible and sustainable business that reimagine this sector in the country through an ideal mix of products and global influence curated for the Indian palate.
Chetan Naik of IIFL AMC, said, “Licious has disrupted the meat and seafood category, which has largely been unorganised and underserved. Vivek and Abhay have demonstrated high levels of customer-centricity and an unparalleled focus on supply chain necessary for a perishable product. Licious’ focus on product quality, freshness and innovation has created a strong brand making them the undisputed category leader.”
The startup, earlier this year had allocated ESOPs to more than 1000 employees that include the blue-collared staff. Licious claims that it has witnessed a growth of 500% and has successfully handled over 2million orders to date.