CE-Ventures, the VC arm of UAE-headquartered conglomerate Crescent Enterprises has led $11 million Series A in Indian meat and seafood ecommerce startup FreshToHome, the Dubai-based VC announced last week. Other investors from the Middle East and India including Al-Nasser Holdings, Abdul Azeez Al-Ghurair, Das Capital, Kortschak Investments, TTCER Partners, and M&S Partners also joined the round.
Founded in 2015, FreshToHome sources fresh seafood, poultry and other meat directly from over 1,500 farmers and fisherman across 125 coastal towns to deliver them to over 400,000 customers in different Indian cities including Bengaluru, New Delhi, and Chennai. The startup claims to be the largest ecommerce platform with $1.73 million Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) each month.
FreshToHome enables farmers and fisherman to select the product they want to sell and big to get selected through its mobile phone apps. The startup then selects the sellers and palaces a purchase order with them based on demand for produce, location, and some other factors.
“FreshToHome employs over a 1,000 people and has own fleet of refrigerated trucks, 40 collection centers and 4 factories 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,” said the startup in a statement.
The Bengaluru-headquartered startup will use the latest investment 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. The startup is also planning to expand its operations to Middle East & North Africa and to Mumbai and Pune within India.
The statement does mention this but it appears that the platform is already live in the United Arab Emirates. So they’ve apparently initiated the Middle East expansion already by launching in the UAE, delivering fresh seafood and meat in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah
Shan Kadavil, Co-Founder and CEO of FreshToHome, in a statement, 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, added, “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.”