[Funding alert] Captain Fresh raises $40M Series B led by Tiger Global, Prosus Ventures
Tech-enabled B2B seafood marketplacehas raised $40 million Series B investment led by Tiger Global and Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures). Existing investors Accel India, Matrix Partners India, Ankur Capital, and Incubate Fund also participated in the round.
The funding will be used to build tech interventions and deeper tech integrations across the supply and demand side network such as a real-time trading marketplace, pricing and quality standardisation using AI, and the application of robotic automation to move massive volumes with precision. Captain Fresh will also utilise the funds towards hiring and expanding its team.
Utham Gowda, Founder and CEO, Captain Fresh, in a conversation with YourStory said,
"Captain Fresh will use the funds raised from the current round to build tech interventions and deeper tech integrations across the supply and demand side network such as real time trading marketplace, pricing and quality standardisation using AI, application of robotic automation to move massive volumes with precision. To enable this, we are focusing on hiring stellar talent across all functions."
The startup focuses on aggregating the fragmented retail demand across the country and linking it to small fishermen and farmers throughout the Indian coast. The startup states it has seen a 6x growth in the last 12 months and is transforming retail across B2R, B2B, and B2B2C segments.
Its reseller segment (B2B2C) has demonstrated an increase of 20x within just three months of launch, retailing about 1.2M kgs of fish and seafood every month. Its positive unit economics, coupled with industry leading gross margins, high frequency and rapid expansion makes it the leading fish & seafood marketplace in India.
Ashutosh Sharma, Head of Investments, India, Prosus Ventures, said,
“We are thrilled to partner with Captain Fresh in their goal to transform a highly fragmented and inefficient industry. The team has demonstrated impressive execution and strong unit economics. We are confident about their ability to utilise technology to solve for efficiency and scalability challenges and at the same time make a very positive impact on a large number of fishermen in the country.”
Founded in 2019 by Utham Gowda, Captain Fresh has rapidly emerged as a preferred monetisation partner for supplier communities across the Indian coast. This has been made possible by a tech-enabled distribution network that spans across 20 cities and more than 2,000 retail businesses.
"In the coming months, we plan to expand to parts of Kerala and other southern states in a big way. We also intend to expand aggressively by increasing our scale by 3x over the next six months," added Utham.
Captain Fresh has become a reliable alternative to the wholesale wet markets in these cities for suppliers and B2B customers. It is leveraging deep technologies to lessen the high amount of friction in the traditional trade and optimize the value accrued to the supply communities.
"India has the potential to be a global superpower in fish and seafood industry; it already ranks second in freshwater fish production and third in marine fish production. It is one of the largest market $30 billion in India alone which has been untouched by technology," said Utham.
Global fish and seafood demand is estimated to be $400 billion and is one of the fastest growing protein segments with an ever-expanding supply gap.
"We believe the one aim Captain Fresh is chasing is to build a stock exchange equivalent for seafood where it democratises price and quality leading to friction free trades across the spectrum. These efforts in technological innovation to solve these issues will result in building an environment for a friction free trade and commerce across the supply chain," said Utham.
"Captain Fresh has experienced exponential growth over the last 12 months and this fundraise is a testament to their supply first tech-enabled business model that has helped them scale rapidly while improving economics by optimising for losses and dump in the seafood supply chain. We are excited to be strengthening our partnership with Utham, and to continue supporting him on this journey of transforming the global seafood supply chain. We welcome Tiger Global and Prosus to the partnership and look forward to the journey ahead," said Sudipto Sannigrahi, Principal, Matrix India.