New Delhi: Fresh meat and seafood brand Licious on Tuesday announced that it raised $52 million in ‘Series G’ round led by IIFL Asset Management’s Late Stage Tech Fund. With the fresh funding, the Bengaluru-based company said it has emerged as India’s first Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) unicorn. Avendus FLF (Future Leaders Fund) has also invested in this round, it added.
In startup terms, a unicorn is a company which is valued above $1 billion.
Licious, in a release, stated, “The D2C market in India is at an inflection point and is expected to attain a size of more than 100 billion by 2025. The achievement of Licious unicorn status is expected to not only further the journey of the brand but unlock the next level of opportunities for the animal protein sector through an inflow of investment, talent & the emergence of more start-ups that will help raise the bar in all aspects.”
Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Co-Founders, Licious, in a joint statement, said, “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.”
Both the Co-Founders further said, “In the coming years, Licious will 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.
Chetan Naik of IIFL AMC, said, “Licious’ focus on product quality, freshness and innovation has created a strong brand making them the undisputed category leader. 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.”
Licious’ Stock Option Plan
Earlier this year, Licious had allocated employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to over 1,000 employees. This was followed by a buyback worth Rs 30 crore in August.
Spread across 14 Indian cities, the company has experienced an unprecedented growth of over 500% that the company saw during the last year followed by the continuing momentum of the same.
In July 2021, meat and seafood brand had raised $192 million in their ‘Series F’ funding round, led by Temasek & Multiples Private Equity.
‘Series F’ and ‘Series G’ are late-stage funding rounds.