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Licious said, It has emerged as India’s first Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) Unicorn with fresh funding.

After a gap of a couple of weeks, another startup gains the status of Unicorn, and this time it is Licious. An Online Fresh meat and seafood startup brand announced that it has raised  $52 million (around ₹387 crores) from investors, a round led by IIFL Asset Management’s Late Stage Tech Fund along with Avendus FLF (Future Leaders Fund). The round took the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion and making it a Unicorn.  With the fresh funding, the Bengaluru-based company said it has emerged as India’s first Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) unicorn.

Previously it had raised $192 million in their ‘Series F’ funding round, led by Temasek & Multiples Private Equity In July 2021.

Based in Bengaluru, Founded in the year 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta about six years ago. The company works on a farm-to folk business model, which means that it owns the entire supply chain from sourcing to selling. The company has created a robust cold chain control system to maintain the quality of its products from procurement, processing to storage.

The company specializes in chicken, goat, lamb, and pork meat, among others. It also offers fish and seafood products, along with exotic meat varieties like turkey, blue crab, and more.

“The D2C market in India is at an inflection point and is expected to attain a size of more than 100 billion by 2025. The achievement of Licious unicorn status is expected to not only further the journey of the brand but unlock the next level of opportunities for the animal protein sector through an inflow of investment, talent & the emergence of more start-ups that will help raise the bar in all aspects.” Licious, in a release, stated.

Co-Founders, Licious, said, “Even though the funding for 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 unorganized that holds a vast opportunity of $40 billion.”

Earlier this year, Licious had allocated employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to over 1,000 employees. This was followed by a buyback worth ₹ 30 crores in August. Spread across 14 Indian cities, the company has experienced an unprecedented growth of over 500%.

Both the Co-Founders further said, “In the coming years, Licious will 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.

Chetan Naik of IIFL AMC, said, “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.”

What do you think?

Written by Ravi Tilekar


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