[Funding alert] Online meat brand Licious raises $30M in Series E round led by Vertex Growth Fund

According to Licious, the funds will be deployed towards expanding presence in other Indian cities, strengthening omni-channel presence, and powering new product launches, especially in the ready-to-eat category.

Online fresh meat brand Licious on Monday said it has raised $30 million as part of its Series E funding round led by Singapore-based Vertex Growth Fund. Existing investor 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and Sistema Asia Fund also participated in the round.

According to the company, the funds raised will be deployed towards expanding presence in a greater number of Indian cities, augmenting capabilities in existing markets, strengthening omnichannel presence, and powering new product launches, especially in the ready-to-eat category.

Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Co-founders, Licious

The company also said that it will focus on upgrading the Indian meat and seafood ecosystem by bolstering technological intervention, expanding its pool of employees, and training them on niche skills.

Bengaluru-headquartered Licious was launched in 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta to build a food brand offering prime quality meat products, which was otherwise dominated by the unhygienic and unreliable wet market followed by frozen meat options which is an unpopular workaround for Indian consumers.

Commenting about the funding and the current market scenario, Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Co-Founders, Licious, said,  

“We are elated to see our marquee investors instil faith in our vision. At Licious, we are not just aiming at achieving success as a business but creating an unprecedented and consistent experience for all our stakeholders. The fact that 92 percent of the Indian meat and seafood industry is still unorganised indicates the huge, underserved community that exists as well as the opportunity that this sector has to offer.”

The founders further said that the traditional meat and seafood industry are in dire need of tech intervention, quality standardisation and a skilled talent pool.

Licious follows a farm-to-folk model where the company owns the entire back-end supply chain powered by world class processing facilities along with stringent cold chain control to scientifically maintain the quality and freshness of each product that reaches the end user.

While, Tam Hock Chuan, Managing Partner of Vertex Growth, shared,

“Licious is building a company and brand that is synonymous with the freshest meat and meat products. We are confident that the team’s capabilities and technologies it has established across its entire supply chain will achieve this and allow Licious to deliver value to consumers in India."

Apart from Bengaluru, currently Licious is present in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Chandigarh. Further, the company processes more than 17,000 orders a day.

“Vertex Growth believes Licious is leading the transformation of the traditional meat and seafood industries to become the premier brand of choice. The market opportunity is exciting, fuelled by India’s favourable economic trends like rising per capita income and urban consumption trends. We are privileged to support the team as they expand and advance on their mission of bringing the best meat possible to consumers” added James Lee, Managing Partner.

Currently, Licious has 2,000 employees, and is aiming to reach a target of Rs 1,000 crore in revenues by 2023.

(Edited by Megha Reddy)