Investcorp invests in Indian online grocer FreshToHome

Gaurav Sharma
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Updated 16 November 2020

Investcorp invests in Indian online grocer FreshToHome

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, and NephroPlus. The focus is on targeting first-generation entrepreneurs who aim to scale up businesses with asset-light models and proven unit economics.

SABIC launches anti-fog film for COVID visors

Updated 28 November 2020

SABIC launches anti-fog film for COVID visors

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced the successful commercialization of an anti-fog film it designed especially for COVID-19 protection equipment, such as safety face shields and goggles, used in frontline work environments.

Lexan HP92AF features a one-sided coating that extends the time-to-fog even at very high ambient humidity, ensuring long-lasting optical clarity. The product has confirmed its superior anti-fog performance in extensive testing under the harshest conditions. It does not exhibit any hazing at saturation as could be observed with competitive materials. Moreover, the anti-fog coating technology has no compromising effect on the abrasion resistance and impact strength of the polycarbonate film.

“We have identified a gap in the market when it comes to the effective protection of frontline workers against the COVID-19 pathogen. In work environments subjected to sudden temperature changes and high humidity, visors and safety goggles often fail to provide adequate long-term anti-fog performance. This forces workers to either not wear such visors and safety goggles at all or to take these off for frequent wiping,” said Ahmet Kizilirmakli, senior business manager Americas, SABIC.

“Our new Lexan HP92AF anti-fog film offers the solution many companies have been looking for. Excellent optical quality and high-impact strength of polycarbonate combined with our advanced anti-fog technology make the product the ultimate choice for face shields and other clear view personal protection equipment with long-lasting optical clarity in these environments,” he added.

Besides visors, face masks and safety goggles, other targeted applications include motorcycle visors, ski goggles, automotive cluster lenses, medical instrument lenses and displays as well as industrial lenses.

SABIC’s new anti-fog film product shows excellent die cutting and printability. The anti-fog film is thermoformable and withstands repeated cleaning with lukewarm water, mild soap solutions, or common glass cleaners.

With a width of 48 inches, Lexan HP92AF is globally available in a wide range of gauges from 7 to 30 mil (178 to 752 µm).

“The rapid commercialization of Lexan HP92AF anti-fog film underscores our commitment to helping our customers enhance the protection of frontline workers against COVID-19,” said Mark Troszak, film segment leader at SABIC.

“In high-humidity environments, the time-to-fog makes a difference. This product can ensure optimum optical clarity over extended periods, allowing the users of face shields and other transparent safety equipment to concentrate on their jobs safely without being impaired by fogging,” he added.

Troszak said that SABIC has the capability to satisfy customer-specific requirements by adapting this technology to other existing Lexan-coated film solutions.