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Crescent unit leads $11m funding in Indian startup

DUBAI, June 11, 2019

CE-Ventures, the corporate venture capital platform of UAE-based global business Crescent Enterprises, has led a Series A funding round of $11 million in Indian meat and seafood e-commerce company FreshToHome.

Other investors in the funding round included Das Capital, Kortschak Investments, TTCER Partners, Al-Nasser Holdings, Abdul Azeez Al-Ghurair and M&S Partners.

Founded in 2015, FreshToHome delivers fresh seafood, poultry and other meat to 400,000 customers in Bengaluru, New Delhi (and the National Capital Region), Chennai and parts of Kerala. FreshToHome is the largest e-commerce platform for fish and meat with $1.73 million in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) sales each month.

The startup sources directly from more than 1,500 farmers and fishermen across 125 coastal towns and cities through a predictive analytics-based platform which operates on the company’s patent-pending commodity exchange technology. The commodity exchange technology allows the company to eliminate numerous middlemen involved in the supply chain. Put simply, it offers farmers and fishermen a smartphone app to select the produce they want to sell and bid to get selected.

The platform then selects the seller based on demand for the produce, location and other factors and places a purchase order, thus working as a virtual trading commodities exchange. FreshToHome employs over a 1,000 people and has own fleet of refrigerated trucks, 40 collection centres and4factories in Cochin, Bengaluru, Noida and Chennai with 20+ processing facilities and hubs in each city, where 15 tonnes of fish and meat is delivered on a daily basis.

FreshToHome will use the new capital to expand its supply chain network, connect with as many as 8,500 new farmers, and start fresh fruit and vegetable delivery in more locations. FreshToHome is also looking at expanding its operations within India to Mumbai and Pune, and further internationally to the Mena region.

Shan Kadavil, CEO and co-founder, FreshToHome, said: “FreshToHome aims to offer 100 percent fresh seafood and meat to consumers free of any added chemicals, while ensuring farmers and fishermen receive a fair price. Most of the capital we raise is invested back into the supply chain network, enabling us to reach more fishermen and farmers with our state-of-the-art technology, backed by over 1,000 people, a fleet of 100 trucks and collection points across the country. We are growing our operations across India and are looking at international expansion beginning with the MENA region.”

Tushar Singhvi, director of CE-Ventures, said: “FreshToHome’s technology is revolutionising the way the meat and seafood industry functions by disintermediating the supply chain, eliminating the middlemen and working directly with the fishermen and farmers to make fresh and chemical free food more widely accessible.

“The Meat and Seafood segment in India is a $50 billion market, but is highly fragmented, creating a compelling opportunity for FreshToHome to capitalise and strengthen its position as one of the largest online suppliers of fresh meat and seafood in India, and beyond. As a strategic investor, we are actively working towards the company’s international expansion to the Mena region.” – TradeArabia News Service




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