Finance & Capital Market

FreshToHome online fresh fish, meat brand raises $121m

FreshToHome, the world’s largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce, raised $121 million in Series C funding for expansion in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India.
The funding is 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;  US 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 $19 million, said a statement. 
“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’,” said Shan Kadavil, Co-Founder and CEO of FreshToHome. 
“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 realise our full potential through rapid expansion in India and the Middle East,” he said.
As estimated by Euromonitor International, the consumer market size of fish and meat segment in India in 2019 was $94 billion. FreshToHome is the world’s largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce with approximately 1.5 million B2C orders per month and $85 million(~INR 600 Crore) annualised 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 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.  
Support from its existing large Middle East-based investors such as CE-Ventures - the corporate venture capital platform of Crescent Enterprises, significantly helped in its expansion in the UAE, where it is already one of the top five e-grocers. FreshToHome is also planning to expand to other key GCC markets such as Saudi Arabia.
Kadavil and other co-founders of FreshToHome have a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship background, having been part of leadership teams of companies such as Zynga.  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.
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.” – TradeArabia News Service