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Business News/ Companies / News/  Licious raises $25 million in funding round led by Nichirei Corp
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Licious raises $25 million in funding round led by Nichirei Corp

Gourmet meat start-up Licious will use the funding to expand operations in seven new cities, including Mumbai, Pune and Chennai

Licious founders Vivek Gupta (left) and Abhay Hanjura at one of their processing plants in Bengaluru.Premium
Licious founders Vivek Gupta (left) and Abhay Hanjura at one of their processing plants in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru: Gourmet meat start-up Licious, run by Delightful Gourmet Pvt. Ltd, has raised $25 million in a Series D round led by Japan’s Nichirei Corp., to help grow its footprint.

Existing investors, including 3one4 Capital, Bertelsemann India Investments and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, also participated in the round, Licious said in a statement on Monday.

The money will be used to expand operations across seven new cities, including Mumbai, Pune and Chennai, it said. Licious currently caters to customers in Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR and Hyderabad.

“Building a transformational and category-leading food brand in an extremely complex environment requires conviction and inventive thinking, and we are glad we are on the right path. These funds will greatly aid our vision to build an Indian food brand with a global outlook," said Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, co-founders, Licious.

Hanjura, a former management trainee at Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd, and Gupta, a chartered accountant, jointly founded the company in 2015.

In September, Licious, which also sells fresh fish and marinated products, had raised a $25 million Series C round led by Bertelsmann India Investments, the strategic investment arm of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann SE and Co., and Vertex Ventures, along with UCLA and existing investors Mayfield India, 3one4 Capital, Sistema Asia Fund and InnoVen Capital.

Licious takes orders on its website, as well as on its mobile app. It provides end-to-end services from procuring fresh produce, processing them and storing it before delivery. The company also owns and operates fully-automated meat processing units and delivery centres.

There has been growing investor interest in the on-demand food segment, which has particularly gathered steam after millions of dollars were poured by investors into companies like BigBasket, Grofers and a whole host of food brands, including Veeba Food Services.

In March, Zappfresh, a key competitor of Licious, had raised $20 million from Dabur India vice-chairman Amit Burman and Sidbi Venture Capital, the direct investment arm of government-owned Small Industries and Development Bank of India.

Licious and other meat delivery start-ups, which had earlier faced competition from local vendors, traditional brick-and-mortar stores and a few other established names, will now compete with bigger online grocery players.

In June, India’s biggest online grocery start-up, BigBasket, had raised $300 million from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Subsequently, it had said that it will start offering fresh meat on its platform.

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Published: 11 Dec 2018, 03:20 AM IST
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