Licious, a Bengaluru-based meat and seafood brand, on Tuesday said that it has raised $52 million in a Series G funding round led by Mumbai-headquartered IIFL AMC’s late-stage tech fund, making it the latest entrant to the coveted unicorn, or the $1-billion valuation club, post-money.

In July this year, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup—which sells fresh meat and seafood online—raised $192 million in a funding round led by Singapore-headquartered Temasek, and Multiples Private Equity. The funding round valued the company at $650 million then.

“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 unorganised that holds a vast opportunity of $40 billion,” said Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, co-founders, Licious in a statement.

“We will continue to build the category through investments in technology for supply chain excellence, product innovation, talent, and vendor partner upgrades. In the coming years, you will see Licious 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,” the co-founders added.

The company points out that the D2C market in India is at an inflexion point and is expected to attain a size of $100 billion-plus by 2025. The pandemic has played a major role in accelerating growth for the sector.

Founded in 2015 by Hanjura and Gupta, Licious has managed to crack the usual customer pain points of quality, hygiene, freshness, and convenience in a highly unorganised and underserved fresh meat and seafood market in India, pegged at $40 billion.

Currently, Licious has a presence across 14 cities in India including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, NCR, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Coimbatore, Kochi, and others. The company claims to serve over one million orders every month with over 90% repeat consumption.

“Licious has disrupted the meat and seafood category, which has largely been unorganised and underserved. Vivek and Abhay have demonstrated high levels of customer-centricity and an unparalleled focus on supply chain necessary for a perishable product,” said Chetan Naik of IIFL AMC, adding that “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.”

The company claims that it witnessed a growth of over 500% in the last year. Licious has delivered to more than two million unique customers to date.

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