Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, has invested in FreshToHome, one of the world’s largest fully integrated online brands in fresh fish and meat, as a part of a $121 million funding round alongside other investors.
Investcorp has been evaluating several potential opportunities that are beneficiaries of the COVID-19-led boost in e-commerce and health and hygiene awareness in India. FreshToHome is a direct beneficiary of shifting demand from fish and meat purchases that have typically been made in the past at wet markets. FreshToHome’s brand promise of “100 Percent Fresh and 0 Percent Chemicals” was a big enabler of its growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online grocer enables sellers to directly source from fishermen and farmers through its state-of-the-art and artificial intelligence-powered supply chain. Such use of technology reduces food waste for suppliers to less than 2 percent versus an estimated 15 percent in traditional unorganized markets.
As estimated by Euromonitor International, the consumer fish and meat segment in India in 2019 was a $94 billion market. FreshToHome has approximately 1.5 million B2C orders per month and an $85 million annualized sales run rate on the platform. The online brand is also expanding its offering in the GCC region, with a presence in all the emirates of the UAE and plans to enter Saudi Arabia in the near term.
Gaurav Sharma, head of private equity at Investcorp India, said: “At Investcorp, we look at companies who redefine the category in which they operate with proven top-line and bottom-line impact. We believe that FreshToHome fits this bill perfectly and is poised to achieve significant scale. We look forward to this partnership and supporting the company in seeking to realize its full potential.”
Shan Kadavil and other co-founders of FreshToHome have a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship background, having in the past been part of leadership teams of companies such as Zynga.
Investcorp’s recent investments in India include: InCred, ASG, Zolo, Citykart, Intergrow Brands, Bewakoof.com and NephroPlus. The focus is on targeting first-generation entrepreneurs who aim to scale up businesses with asset-light models and proven unit economics.