Bahrain's Investcorp invests in India’s FreshToHome

FreshToHome sells fresh vegetables, fish, chicken and other kinds of meat in India and the UAE

  

MANAMA: Investcorp has invested in FreshToHome, an Indian e-commerce firm, as part of a $121 million funding round alongside other investors.

FreshToHome sells fresh vegetables, fish, chicken and other kinds of meat in India and the UAE and is expanding its offering in the GCC region with plans to enter Saudi Arabia in the near term.

According to a report on PYMNTS.com, Investcorp was joined by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), Ascent Capital, an India-focused growth capital provider, and the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in financing the e-commerce start-up.

A direct beneficiary of the Covid-19-led shift in fish and meat purchases online from wet markets in the past, FreshToHome is delivering 1.5 million orders each month via its platform with $85m in annualised revenue.

It enables marketplace sellers to source and sell high-quality meat and fish directly from livestock farmers and fishermen in most major Indian cities, through its state-of-the-art and Artificial Intelligence-powered supply chain.

Such use of technology reduces food waste for suppliers to less than two per cent versus an estimated 15pc in traditional unorganised markets.

As estimated by Euromonitor International, the consumer fish and meat segment in India in 2019 was a $94 billion market.

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 said it has been evaluating several potential opportunities which are beneficiaries of the Covid-19-led boost in e-commerce and health and hygiene awareness in India.

The Bahrain-based alternative investment firm’s India Private Equity head Gaurav Sharma 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 realise its full potential.”

In India, Investcorp invests in mid-market companies in consumption-linked sectors, including consumer tech, healthcare, financial services and technology. The firm’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.

avinash@gdn.com.bh

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