Fish and meat e-commerce company FreshToHome receives Series A funding

… David Krane, managing director, Google Ventures; Rajan Anandan of Google; Paval Ongole, ex–India head, Softbank Capital; Walter Kortschak of …

FreshToHome, an Indian e-commerce company in the fish and meat space delivering over 8,000 orders a day to 4,00,000 customers, has received Series A funding to fuel its expansion plans.

The Bengaluru-based company is backed by some of the leading entrepreneurs and investors in the world, including Mark Pincus of Zynga Inc; David Krane, managing director, Google Ventures; Rajan Anandan of Google; Paval Ongole, ex–India head, Softbank Capital; Walter Kortschak of Kortschak Investments; Pete Briger, chairman of Fortress Investment Group; Timothy Flaherty, co–founder, Silver Creek Capital; Cadir Lee of Zynga and OhmConnect, and Alex Garden of Relic Entertainment, Nexon, MSFT, and Zynga. However the funding details have not been disclosed.

The company which has operations in present across Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Kochi, will soon be launching in Mumbai and Pune. The factories are a combination of manufacturing centres for processing and packaging fish, meat and vegetables, and distribution centres.

“Despite the presence of a couple of players in this space, our USP is 100 per cent fresh and zero per cent chemical products. Our products are tested at Asia’s top lab. We also have certificates on our website for our customers to verify. This is the zero per cent chemicals side of the brand. When it comes to freshness, we don’t freeze our seafood. Fish have water molecules in them which contribute to the flavour. When you thaw frozen fish, the water molecules melt and is released from the fish. What you are left with is tasteless fish. We only give you fish that is straight from the coast,” said Shan Kadavil, founder and chief executive officer, Freshtohome.com, told F&B News.

“We created a patent-pending technology called the Commodities Exchange Platform, on which fishermen can auction fish to us by sharing images. We then have our trucks pick up the products, that head to our processing unit, where they are cleaned and cut,” he added.

“Venture capitalists and private equity players are extremely receptive to fund a venture like ours. In fact, multiple companies like FreshToHome, Licious and others in the same sector have been funded. They are aware of the potential this market holds. The seafood market is pegged at $50 billion while the poultry and mutton is worth about $30 billion. This makes the industry ripe for disruption,” stated Kadavil.

The company objective is to offer premium chemical free food at a value price. “This would mean working with farmers and fishermen directly, to eliminate middlemen out of the supply chain. What we are really working on is to reinvent the food supply chain, working with farmers and fishermen directly. We are soon planning to add more products to our inventory, such as fruits and vegetables, cold-pressed oils, flour etc. The idea is to push the distribution across e-commerce platforms, retail stores and other channels across geographies. Our mission attracts people at the top level, and at the lower level, we hire people from the unorganised sector and upskill them,” said Kadavil.

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Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week [1-6 Apr]

… funding came to Bengaluru-headquartered logistics startup BlackBuck which raised INR 553 Cr ($79.9 Mn) in a Series D round from Accel Partners …
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We bring to you the latest edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!

This week one of the biggest funding came to Bengaluru-headquartered logistics startup BlackBuck which raised INR 553 Cr ($79.9 Mn) in a Series D round from Accel Partners US, Goldman Sachs and B-Capital.

Inc42 had earlier reported in March that the company’s pre-money valuation reached $1.11 Bn (INR 7,732 Cr) as on December 31, 2018. The company’s filings also showed that it aims to achieve profitability by December 2021.

Also, this week Bengaluru-based hyperlocal concierge app Dunzo is close to securing INR 80 Cr ($11.5 Mn) in a Series C funding round led by Google. Blume Ventures and Alteria Capital, Greyhound, Beeline is also investing in this ongoing Series C round, a Ministry of Corporate Affairs filing showed.

In all this week, 18 startups raised $369 Mn funding and three startup acquisitions took place in the Indian startup ecosystem. (This funding report is based on startups that disclosed funding amount.)

Indian Startup Fundings Of The Week

OYO: Gurugram-headquartered hospitality unicorn OYO has raised nearly $200 Mn as part of its Series E round from US-based multinational hospitality company Airbnb. The two companies have also signed a strategic partnership and are looking to collaborate on multiple projects, one of them being Airbnb listing OYO’s properties on its platform

1MG: Gurugram-headquartered epharmacy startup 1MG has raised $45.4 Mn (INR 314 Cr) in a funding round raised between December 2018 and March 2019. The round has been led by investors including — Corsiol Holding, AG’s subsidiary KWE Beteiligungen, Redwood Global, among others. 1MG’s existing investors — Sequoia Capital, Kae Capital and HBM Healthcare Investments also participated in this round of funding, MCA filings accessed by Inc42 showed. With these two rounds combined the company has secured close to $60 Mn in the last one year.

BharatPe: Delhi-based fintech startup BharatPe has raised $15.5 Mn in Series A funding from Insight Partners, Sequoia, and Beenext. The company said it will use the funds to scale their operations.

Nykaa: Mumbai-based fashion and beauty ecommerce platform, Nykaa, has raised $14 Mn (INR 100 Cr) funding from an American private equity firm TPG Growth. This new round brings the company’s total funding to $93.02 Mn till date.

Little Black Book (LBB): Delhi-headquartered digital media platform Little Black Book (LBB), has raised $5 Mn (INR 34.4 Cr) in Series A funding round, led by Inventus India and IAN Fund. Investors from Japan such as Dream Incubator and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology (AET) Fund, and existing investors Blume Ventures, and Chiratae Ventures also participated in the round. The fresh funds will be utilised to expand the technology and product team, with a focus on machine learning (ML) for discovery, and integration of content with commerce.

WedMeGood: Gurugram-based online wedding platform WedMeGood has raised $2.6 Mn in Series A funding from Orchid India. The company plans to use the funds to expanding its market further and also invest further in the product, user acquisition and diversification of revenue streams.

Intello Labs: Gurugram-based agritech startup Intello Labs has raised a $2 Mn seed round from Nexus Venture Partners and Omnivore. The startup will use the funding to strengthen its product and boost its global expansion.

Lavelle Networks: Delhi-based SDN networking platform Lavelle Networks has raised $2 Mn in a Series A funding round led by YourNest Venture Capital. Ideaspring Capital, KAAJ Ventures (B V Jagadeesh), and ASM Technologies Limited also participated in the funding round. The company is looking for rapid enterprise business expansion.

SurveySparrow: Kochi and Palo Alto-based survey and customer feedback software, SurveySparrow has raised $1.4 Mn in seed funding from Prime Venture Partners. The SaaS (software-as-a-service) startup will use the funds for product development and extensive hiring across engineering, product development, and marketing.

Utkal Tubers: Bengaluru-based potato seeds startup Utkal Tubers has raised $1.44 Mn (INR 10 Cr) from IPM Potato Group ltd and Zephyr Peacock. Wit this, Utkal has licensed an extensive portfolio of new potato varieties with improved disease resistance and high yield potential.

Teamonk Global: Bengaluru-headquartered home grown specialty tea brand Teamonk Global has raised $1 Mn in Pre-series A round, led by former McKinsey chief Rajat Gupta and Roots Ventures. The fresh funds will help the company cale up its portfolio of premium teas and targets to reach new geographies.

KidzByte: Mumbai-based edtech startup KidzByte has raised $288K (INR 2 Cr) in a seed funding round from serial entrepreneur Pranay Goyal. The funds will be used primarily towards further scaling its technology, expanding its user base and its resources.

Big Bang Boom Solutions: Delhi-based defense tech startup Big Bang Boom Solutions (BBBS) has raised a $216K (INR 1.5 Cr) grant for winning the ‘See Through Armor’ challenge by the Ministry of Defence under iDEX. The win entitles the startup to a chance to co-develop the solution along with the Indian Army, and a grant of Rs 1.5 Cr.

Baxi-Fresh: Gurugram-based micro-delivery startup Baxi-Fresh has raised $288K (INR 2 Cr) in a new bridge-round from its existing investors, including Alok Mittal, founder and CEO of Indifi Technologies, Nitin Singhal, a UK-based angel investor and Mahendra Pratap, founder and CEO of Shiksha Infotech. The funds will be used to expand and launch its delivery services in 200 residential neighborhoods in Gurugram and New Delhi region by July this year.

ten3T: Bengaluru-based healthtech startup ten3T Healthcare has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-series A round of funding led by the ITI Growth Opportunities Fund with participation from earlier investors pi Ventures and previous angel investors. The funds will be used to expand the usage of their revolutionary product, Cicer, to home care scenarios, ambulance monitoring, and pharmacovigilance studies.

Pi Beam: Chennai-based electric vehicle startup Pi Beam has raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre-Series A round led by Eagle10 Ventures, with Bluehill Capital and HNIs also participating in the round. The fresh funds will be used for ramping up sales, expanding team and new product development initiatives.

FlatPebble: Hyderabad-based AI-driven on demand cataloguing platform FlatPebble has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Indian Angel Network. The company plans to use the fresh funds towards scaling up its operations and its future expansion.

Indian Startup Acquisitions Of The Week

  • Confirming Inc42’s last week exclusive report, Reliance Industries said that Jio has signed a business transfer agreement with Haptik Infotech Pvt Ltd (Haptik) for 87% stake in the company. The total transaction size will be for about INR 700 Cr ($102.3 Mn) of which the initial business transfer is INR 230 Cr. The rest of the outlay will be invested in growth and expansion, Reliance said.
  • Singapore-based digital real estate marketing and transactions services company, Elara Technologies has acquired Gurugam-based tech-enabled rental brokerage platform FastFox at a valuation just under INR 100 Cr ($14 Mn). The FastFox founders and team will be joining Elara Technologies group post-acquisition.
  • Samara Capital has entered into an agreement with Blue Heaven Cosmetics Private Limited to acquire 50% stake for an undisclosed amount. Blue Heaven plans to use the funds for investment into marketing and distribution and consolidation of group entities, and to take advantage of the management talent brought in by Samara to take the brand to the next level of growth.

Other Developments Of The Week

  • Bengaluru-based self-drive car rental platform, Zoomcar, is reportedly in talks to raise around $500 Mn (INR 3,421 Cr) in a funding round led by automaker Mahindra & Mahindra. The startup’s valuation may go up to $1 Bn if at least 40% of the deal is completed via equity.
  • Indonesia-based ride-hailing company, GoJek, is in advanced talks to close two investment deals with Mumbai-based cloud kitchen player Rebel Foods which runs Faasos and Bengaluru-based esports startup Mobile Premier League.
  • Amazon has invested INR 240 Cr (approximately $35 Mn) into its food ecommerce arm Amazon Retail India. Amazon has invested through two of its entities including the existing shareholder Amazon Corporate Holdings Pvt. Limited and its US-based parent company Amazon.com.
  • Watch and personal accessories maker Titan Company has invested INR 99.9 Cr into Chennai-based online jewellery store CaratLane. As a part of this deal, CaratLane allocated 30,48,780 shares to Titan. Following this, Titan’s stake in the company increases to 69.47% from 66.39%.
  • US-based curated closed marketplace for startups and investors AngelList has launched an India focused fund – The Collective. The Collective will invest about INR 1 Cr each in 60-80 startups annually. This fund will also give quick capital access to AngelList’s Syndicate leads.
  • Early-stage venture capital firm, DSG Consumer Partners (DSGCP) has reportedly announced the launch of its third investment fund, which made its first close at $30 Mn. Primary investors in fund-III included Belgium-based Verlinvest, and Nigerian conglomerate Kewalram Chanrai Group. In addition to this, the firm also announced a growth fund for its top performing portfolio companies.

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Funding Galore: Indian Startup Funding Of The Week!

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Alibaba-backed Xpressbees bags Rs 35 Cr debt from InnoVen Capital

So far, Xpressbees has picked up over $56 million in equity financing from the likes of SAIF Partners, Paytm, Chiratae Ventures (former IDG Ventures) …

E-commerce logistics firm Xpressbees has raised Rs 35 Cr in debt funding round from InnoVen Capital.

The funding round comes almost after a year when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba had infused Rs 224 crore worth Series D round in the Pune-based end-to-end logistics firm.

So far, Xpressbees has picked up over $56 million in equity financing from the likes of SAIF Partners, Paytm, Chiratae Ventures (former IDG Ventures) and Valiant Capital.

This debt fund will be used for the expansion of the existing network and creation of new business lines, reports Mint.

A brainchild of Amitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari, Xpressbess started its journey as logistics arm of FirstCry but in 2015, it relaunched as a separate entity.

Xpressbess offers services include first and last-mile delivery and reverse logistics with facilities, such as real-time tracking, multiple payment collection, and processing options.

The startup claims to serve more than 10,000 pin codes across India, with 53 hubs and about 1,300 service centers.

Xpressbees competes with Delhivery and Ecom Express and serves major e-commerce players such as Paytm, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Reliance, and Clubfactory.

The Temasek Holdings-backed InnoVen Capital has been an active debt provider for Indian startups. In 2018 alone, it made an investment of over Rs 600 crore across 36 companies. During the period, it also added 21 new companies to the portfolio.

The debt firm has provided over 165 loans to more than 130 startups including Oyo Rooms, Swiggy, Pepperfry, Byju’s, Quikr, Healthifyme, TravelTriangle, Disprz, Wicked Ride, Licious and Yatra among others.

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Impossible Foods Accelerates Switch to Impossible Burger 2.0 as Demand Surges Across America

Investors include Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open …

Based in California’s Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products directly from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The privately held company was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Investors include Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.

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