Gourmet meat and seafood startup Licious on Wednesday said that it has raised $25 million in a Series-C growth round led by Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India along with UCLA. Existing investors Mayfield India, 3one4 Capital, Sistema Asia Fund and InnoVen Capital also participated in the funding round.

The fund will be utilised for geographic expansion, boosting its product category, and strengthening its supply chain, the company said in a statement. The Bengaluru-based online meat and seafood company has recently announced its plans to enter Mumbai and Pune by the end of this year. Currently it has presence across Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region), Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

In a highly unorganised and underserved meat and seafood market in India, Licious in a short span, has managed to crack the usual customer pain points of quality, hygiene, freshness and convenience in a sustainable manner. The startup was founded in 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta.

“To be able to build a transformational, category leading food brand in one of the most complex and underserved sectors requires conviction and innovation at a fundamental level. In the past three years we have confidently led the way. These funds will greatly aid us in deepening and widening our market presence and enable us to offer new products and services.” said Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, co-founders, Licious.

Licious owns its entire backend supply chain backed by its cold chain control to maintain the quality and freshness of each product from the time of procurement, processing, storage to the time it reaches the end consumer. Licious claims to enjoy 90% repeat business monthly.

“Direct-to-consumer fresh food startups are redefining how India produces, distributes and buys food. Licious with their robust supply chain and seamless farm to fork model, addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the consumer when it comes to their purchase experience and quality of product.” said Pankaj Makkar, managing director, Bertelsmann India Investments.

The startup says it recorded more than 300% growth year-on-year in 2017-18. It aims to be India’s leading food brand in the fresh meat and seafood category.

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