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[Funding alert] Licious becomes India's first D2C unicorn; raises $52M in Series G round

Bengaluru-based D2C fresh animal protein brand, Licious, became the first D2C unicorn after it raised a Series G round led by IIFL AMC’s Late-Stage Tech Fund.

[Funding alert] Licious becomes India's first D2C unicorn; raises $52M in Series G round

Tuesday October 05, 2021 , 3 min Read

D2C fresh meat brand Licious on Tuesday entered the coveted billion-dollar unicorn club.

The Bengaluru-based startup raised $52 million in a Series G round led by IIFL AMC's Late-Stage Tech Fund, with a valuation of $1 billion. Avendus FLF (Future Leaders Fund) has also invested in this round.

Avendus Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Licious for the transaction.

Speaking on the development, Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Co-founders, Licious, said,

"Although the funding for the D2C sector has grown significantly, FMCG is still not considered the most attractive category. We expect that Licious' unicorn status will change that. The fresh meats and seafood sector is still largely underserved and unorganised that holds a vast opportunity of $40 billion."

They added, "As the category leader, we aim at paving the way for the second wave of young startups that can join hands in fully harnessing the potential that the industry has to offer. We will continue to build the category through investments in technology for supply chain excellence, product innovation, talent, and vendor partner upgrades."

Vivek Gupta and Abhay, Founders of Licious

Earlier this year, Licious allocated ESOPs to over 1,000 employees, including its blue-collar workforce. This was followed by a buyback worth Rs 30 crore in August.

Recently, the startup also announced its pledge to comply with the lofty global ESG standards, setting new benchmarks for sustainability and governance.

Spread across 14 Indian cities, Licious has seen over 500 percent growth in last year, followed by the continuing momentum of the same. It has successfully delivered to more than two million unique customers to date.

The co-founders said, "In the coming years, you will see Licious work towards building a sustainable, responsible business that will reimagine the animal protein category in India through an optimal mix of global influence and products curated for the Indian palate. But most of all, you will see us championing the cause of the fresh meats and seafood sector as we continue to put it in the front row of consumer businesses in India."

In July 2021, Licious had raised a Series F round worth $192 million led by Temasek and Multiples Private Equity, making it the highest-funded company in the fresh animal protein business category.

Brunei Investment Agency also participated in the round, along with existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Growth Fund, and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India.

Chetan Naik of IIFL AMC, says “Vivek and Abhay have demonstrated high levels of customer-centricity and an unparalleled focus on supply chain necessary for a perishable product. Licious’ focus on product quality, freshness, and innovation has created a strong brand, making them the undisputed category leader."

"Today, Licious is amongst the fastest-growing D2C brands and is one of the few consumer businesses in India with very strong revenue retention metrics. We are excited to partner with them in this journey of creating India’s most-loved meat and seafood brand,” he added.

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Edited by Suman Singh