India’s unicorn world keeps ballooning and inflating. The latest entrant in this coveted world is just as exceptional as was Apna, a blue-collar marketplace that was crowned last nonth as the youngest startup to cross the one billion dollar valuation. Licious, the meat and seafood brand, is actually the newest unicorn in India’s startup industry.
What makes Licious standout in the unicorn world is that it is the first D2C brand to surpass the billion dollar valuation. D2C means direct to consumer brand, which implies that the company does not deal with any middlemen to deliver its goods and services to its consumers. Overall, Licious is the 30th startup to hit the unicorn valuation in the ongoing year. It achieved this milestone after raising $52 Mn in a fresh round led by AMC’s Late Stage Tech Fund.
The unicorn funding has come barely three months after Licious raised whopping $192 Mn in a series F round led by Temasek and multiple private equity investors.
Off late, the Bengaluru based startup has been in news for all the good reasons. Earlier this year, the startup had allotted ESOPs to over 1,000 employees including its blue collar workforce. Following this development, the company announced a buyback worth Rs 30 crores in August.
Commenting on the unicorn funding, Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, co-founders of Licious, said “even though the funding for the D2C sector has grown significantly, FMGC is still not considered the most attractive category. The fresh meats and seafood sector is still largely undeserved and unorganized that holds a vast opportunity of $40 Bn.”
Licious claims that it achieved 500% growth last year and delivered meat and seafood products to more than 2 Mn unique customers so far. Being a D2C company, the firm completely handles its back-end-supply chain. Licious’ biggest competitor is FreshToHome, which scooped up $121 Mn in series C round in October last year. FreshToHome is also based in Bengaluru and will be interesting to see how it responds to Licious’ unicorn funding. The other small players that compete in this space include Zapfresh, BBDaily, MeatRoot and Easymeat.