[Funding alert] Meat and seafood brand TenderCuts raises $15M led by Paragon Partners, NABVENTURES

The startup said the funding will allow TenderCuts to expand its current operations and pursue organic and inorganic growth opportunities.
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TenderCuts, a Chennai-based omnichannel meat and seafood brand, on Monday announced it has raised Rs 110 crore ($15 million) in a round led by Paragon Partners, a mid-market PE fund founded by Siddharth Parekh and Sumeet Nindrajog with participation from NABVENTURES, an agri-food tech VC fund backed by NABARD.

In a media release, the startup said the funding will allow TenderCuts to expand its current operations and pursue organic and inorganic growth opportunities. The funds will also allow the company to invest in scaling up its supply chain and technology infrastructure to support innovation and accessibility of its products and services, the release added.

Nishanth Chandran, Founder, and CEO, TenderCuts, said:

“This investment will pave the way for us to enter new markets and further establish our omnichannel network. We are delighted to partner with Paragon Partners and NABVENTURES and look forward to tapping into their significant experience in growing consumer businesses in the retail, agri, food and beverage, and ecommerce sectors,” said .

Nishanth Chandran, Founder and CEO, TenderCuts

Founded in 2016 by Nishanth Chandran, TenderCuts is revolutionising the way meat and seafood is sold in India. The startup provides freshly cut meat and seafood to customers through its neighborhood stores, which cater not only to walk-in customers, but also online shoppers. All of this is driven by a fully integrated supply chain fuelled by proprietary technology.

According to the startup, India’s meat and seafood market is worth $100 billion in size. However, over 95 percent of the market is unorganised. The organised meat segment has seen a rapid acceleration of business during the pandemic driven by an increasing number of people focussing on quality, health, hygiene, and convenience, the startup said.

Today, TenderCuts has 25 stores across Chennai and Hyderabad, which cater to walk-in and online customers. The company’s core product portfolio includes fresh chicken, mutton, seafood, marinades, pickles, and eggs. Besides, the firm also has an expansive ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook product range comprising cold cuts, sausages, kebabs, shawarmas, etc.

“We believe TenderCuts has an opportunity to leverage its robust supply chain of farmers and fishermen and its omnichannel strategy to efficiently cater to the mass market. Given our team's deep experience in retail and ecommerce, we are confident that we can help TenderCuts achieve significant scale and accelerate the shift to the organised segment,” added Siddharth Parekh, Co-founder and Senior Partner, Paragon Partners.

According to Rajesh Ranjan, Chief Executive Officer, NABVENTURES,

“The direct-to-consumer meat market is at a nascent stage in India with less than one percent penetration. TenderCuts has been able to build a differentiated business model with omnichannel capability enabling TenderCuts to offer quality meat and seafood to the offline segment as well which is around 96 percent of the market.”

“NABVENTURES would leverage its network of FPOs and farmers to optimise the TenderCuts supply chain by sourcing farm-fresh meat, provide additional income-earning opportunities for our farmers, and build India’s largest meat brand over the next five years,” Rajesh added.

Alvarez & Marsal and Klaw were the commercial and financial diligence and legal advisors to Paragon Partners, Acuity Law advised NABVENTURES, while investment banker IndigoEdge facilitated the transaction.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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