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D2C Meat And Seafood Unicorn Licious Raises $150M Funding
Licious has an INR 1,000 Cr annual revenue rate, with a year-on-year growth of 500%

Bengaluru-based India’s first D2C food tech unicorn Licious has raised $150 Mn led by Singapore-based Amanda Capital, alongside Kotak PE and Axis Growth Avenues AIF – I. The Series F2 round also saw the participation of existing investors such as Zerodha’s Nithin & Nikhil Kamath, boAt’s Aman Gupta and Haresh Chawla, Partner, True North.

The funds raised through this round will be utilized for investment in a technological intervention that will help category development and improve the overall customer experience. The company will also invest in the strategic acquisition and widening and deepening the brand’s reach, an official release stated.

Licious Spread | Packaging Design | Elephant Design+Strategy, India | Elephant Design

Image: Elephant Design

This round of fundraising comes just 6 months after the company became the first D2C (direct-to-consumer) unicorn in the country, Licious said in a statement.

The funds raised through Series F2 will be utilized for investment in the technological intervention that will help category development and improve the overall customer experience.

The current round follows the gourmet meat delivery platform’s unicorn-making round of $52 Mn in October 2021. Previously, it had raised $192 Mn in its Series F round led by Temasek, Brunei Investment Agency, and existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Growth Fund, and Vertex Ventures.

With this, Licious has raised a total of $360 Mn from multiple investors including the current round.

Adding this round, the startup has claimed to be the highest valued D2C brand in India. While its valuation is undisclosed, it is likely to have crossed $2 Bn; as the highest valued D2C unicorns in India include Peeyush Bhansal’s Lenskart valued at $2.5 Bn and FirstCry valued at $1.9 Bn. The Good Glamm Group at a valuation of $1.2 Bn, among others.

In July 2021, Licious had raised USD 192 million in their Series F funding round. In October 2021, the company achieved a billion dollars valuation post receipt of funding worth USD 52 million.

Operations

The company is currently at an annualized revenue run rate of ₹1,000 crores and is operationally profitable. The funds raised through Series F2 will be utilized for investment in technological intervention. They said to help Licious in category development and improve the overall customer experience. The company will also invest in the strategic acquisition and widening and deepening the brand’s reach.

Last year, Licious announced offering ESOPs (employee stock ) to their production and delivery workforce. While introducing the ‘Everyday Vesting, Anytime Liquidation’ ESOP-wealth creation scheme.

S Srinivasan, MD, Kotak Investment Advisors Limited, said “We are excited to partner with Licious, India’s No. 1 D2C brand.  Due to Licious’ focus on quality and strong execution, it’s successfully created a habituated and loyal customer base.  We believe under the leadership of Abhay and Vivek. Licious is best positioned to serve the fresh meat and seafood need of India. “

Kotak Investment Advisors Limited is a $5 billion AUM alternate asset manager. It has invested in Licious through Kotak pre-IPO Opportunities Fund, a ₹2,000 crore fund.  Avendus acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Licious for the transaction.

Management Words

“Today, Licious is the highest valued D2C start-up in India. This valuation is a direct outcome of the value that we have created for our stakeholders- investments made towards building the category have borne us rich dividends. It has propelled growth for the company and its people,” said Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, co-founders of Licious, in a joint statement.

“The growing interest of investors- from India and abroad alike is an added assurance that obsession with customers, quality, and service standards are the pillars of the best businesses.”

The startup did not disclose any metrics today, but it has been a beneficiary of the surge in direct-to-consumer brands’ popularity amid the pandemic. In October, it said its business had grown by over 500% year-on-year.

Analysis of Licious

Image: Bernstein

About the Company

Founded in 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Licious functions on the farm-to-fork business model. The startup owns the entire back-end supply chain, including stringent cold chain control, procurement, processing, and storage. So that the product’s quality and freshness are maintained right from the initial stages to the time it reaches the customers.

In the fresh meat category, Licious specializes in chicken breast, chicken drumsticks, goat keema, and lamb chops, among others. Besides this, Licious also offers a range of fish and seafood products, which include basa fillet, mackerel, sardines, prawns, etc.

Licious also deals in exotic meat varieties like turkey, blue crab, quail, and Atlantic salmon. The startup also expanded its catalog to include value-added products to its fresh meat and seafood portfolio with spreads, marinades, and pickles.

 

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