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FreshToHome, an Indian startup that sells fresh fish and meat to consumers in the South Asian market and the Middle East region, has secured $104 million in a Series D funding round led by Amazon’s Smbhav Venture Fund. Other investors in the round included the government of Dubai, Iron Pillar, and the US government’s development arm.
The new funding takes FreshToHome’s all-time raise to over $250 million, and represents the largest check yet written by Amazon’s $250 million Smbhav Venture Fund.
Founded in 2015, FreshToHome is one of the largest players vying for a share of India’s $100 billion meat and fish market, which currently operates on an age-old system. FreshToHome aims to bring efficiency to the market by streamlining the sourcing infrastructure of meat and fish, improving the quality of the produce, and reducing delivery times.
One of the biggest challenges that FreshToHome and other startups face when competing for the same market is establishing trust with customers, as wet markets currently command the lion’s share of all meat and fish sales in India.
FreshToHome serves over 4,000 fishers and farmers and millions of customers in over 160 cities in India and the UAE, and offers more than 2,000 certified fresh and chemical-free products. The startup has expanded its presence by over 100% in the past year, and currently sells the vast majority of its products online, including through Amazon.
Amazon has been expanding to grocery and fresh categories in India in recent years as it supercharges its logistics infrastructure in the South Asian market. However, in recent months the company has retreated from many business lines in the country due to global market conditions.
While an investment in FreshToHome could be seen as Amazon conceding the meat and fish market to the startup for the time being, FreshToHome CEO Shan Kadavil insisted that Amazon’s investment is purely financial and not strategic.
“We are impressed with the FreshToHome management team led by Shan Kadavil and they have done some quality work in creating a robust technology-enabled supply chain and scalable backward integrated capabilities to serve both customers as well as farmers and fishers. We are excited to partner with FreshToHome for the next phase of its growth,” said an Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund spokesperson in a statement.
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