Bengaluru-based fish and meat retailer FreshToHome has successfully raised $104 million in its Series D funding round, led by Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund. FreshToHome plans to use the funds to expand its network of stores, as well as to expand into the Middle East, specifically by entering the Saudi Arabian market.
This is the first time Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund has invested in a D2C retail brand. The fund, which was founded in April 2021 and has a total value of $250 million, typically focuses on accelerating small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as investing in agritech and healthcare sectors.
FreshToHome is a direct-to-consumer brand that sells fish and meat. It is currently valued at $566 million, according to data research platform Tracxn. The company plans to use the capital to expand its presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a particular focus on Saudi Arabia. FreshToHome entered the UAE market in 2019 and has a presence across 160 cities, including seven cities in the UAE.
FreshToHome to expand its market network of 100 cities
“We opened up nearly 100 cities in the last 18 months and we plan on deepening our penetration. The UAE contributes nearly 10% to 15% of our revenues and India is the largest exporter of fish and meat to the geography. We would like to utilise part of the capital to expand in the country,” said FreshToHome CEO and Co-founder Shan Kadavil.
FreshToHome had previously raised $121 million in a Series C round led by the Investment Corporation of Dubai in October 2020. The company, which was founded in 2015 by Shahnawaz (Shan) Kadavil, plans to add a network of 100 new offline stores over the next 12 months to 18 months, in addition to international expansion.
“We currently have 30 stores in Bengaluru and nearly 20% of our online customers are acquired through these stores, reducing our marketing costs,” Kadavil said.
FreshToHome has also achieved operational profitability on a company level and plans to continue to be a ‘proficorn’. The company is reducing marketing costs by leveraging its milk and daily essentials delivery business, FreshToHome Daily, to club orders for its D2C offering, thereby controlling the cost of delivery.
FreshToHome offers over 2,000 products certified fresh and chemical-free in India and the UAE. The company works with a network of over 4,000 farmers and fishers who auction their produce online for sale. The company claims to deliver products within 24 hours to 36 hours of sourcing.
FreshToHome competes with D2C meat brand Licious, which is valued at over $1 billion and has recently started offering plant-based meat alternatives through its new brand, Uncrave. Prosus Ventures backed Captain Fresh also operates in the space. Recently, meat and seafood brand Fipola had to wind up operations due to its inability to raise external capital.
The Series D round saw participation from returning investors including Iron Pillar, Investcorp, Investment Corporation of Dubai, and Ascent Capital, among others. New investors in the round include Dubai-based E20 Investment Ltd, Bengaluru-based Mount Judi Ventures, and Jeddah-based Dallah Albaraka.
FreshToHome’s success can be attributed to its focus on quality and freshness of its products, as well as its innovative approach to reducing costs and expanding its customer base. By leveraging its existing network and expanding into new markets, FreshToHome is well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory in the coming years.