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Bengaluru, NFAPost: Fresh meat and seafood startup Licious has raised $192 million in a Series F funding round led by Singapore-headquartered investment company Temasek and Multiples Private Equity.

Brunei Investment Agency also participated in the round. Existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Growth Fund, and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India also participated in this round of fundraising.

With this round, a few early investors, including Mayfield and Nichirin, have partially exited the company, according to sources. “Some angel investors have also exited the startup in this round,” said a source close to the development.

The Bengaluru-based startup has raised $286 million so far. According to sources, the company is now valued at $650 million.

The fresh funds will be deployed towards deeper investment in technology-led supply chain transformation, quality improvement and customer experience elevation along with expanding presence in a greater number of Indian cities, powering the international expansion plan, augmenting capabilities in existing markets, strengthening omnichannel presence and powering new product launches.

Currently present in 14 cities, Licious had earlier said it is also looking at strengthening its offline presence by opening around 30 stores by the end of 2021.

Licious co-founders Vivek Gupta & Abhay Hanjura said this is just the beginning in their pursuit of building an exemplary and iconic tech-led D2C brand.

“There is a massive opportunity to be unlocked in this large $40 billion sector which has hitherto been devoid of safety, innovation, quality & sustainability standards. With rapidly increasing protein consumption being driven by a vast majority of Indian consumers, it was a matter of time before a larger global investor community partook in this ambitious and transformative journey,” said Vivek Gupta & Abhay Hanjura.

Over the last 5 years, Licious has been at the forefront of the disruption that India’s animal protein sector needed. It claims to have seen 500% growth over the past two years and has delivered to more than two million unique customers till date. The startup competes with brands such as FreshToHome, Nandu’s and Tender Cuts in the category.

Avendus was the exclusive financial adviser to Licious for the transaction. Multiples Managing Director Sridhar Sankararaman said Abhay and Vivek have revolutionised the purchase of poultry, seafood and meat in the country delighting customers with their promise of quality, freshness and timely delivery.

“Their obsession with customers and quality gives them an eternal edge to create Licious as a category leader and as one of India’s most admired consumer brands,” said Sridhar Sankararaman.

According to RedSeer, while the online meat market is still nascent in the Rs 33,000 crore space, it is growing fast and has seen a growth of 2.5-3x since the pandemic hit.

“Online players have successfully targeted consumer pain-points associated with purchasing meat from local butchers. Not only have they solved those issues, but they have also solved them by several orders of magnitude. For instance, the meat provided by online players is clean, without any stain of blood and has a negligible odour,” says the report.

(With inputs from Business Standard)

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