India-based eCommerce startup FreshToHome has raised $20 million in a new financing round to expand into other areas of the country.
The Series B round was led by Iron Pillar, with Joe Hirao, the founder of Japan’s ZIGExn, also participating. FreshToHome, which sells “100 percent” fresh vegetables and meat in Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune, has raised $33 million to date.
One factor that makes FreshToHome different than other marketplaces is it has its own supply chain network, using trains and planes to move inventory. The company sources all of its food directly from 1,500 fishermen and farmers across the nation, using an app to negotiate with its suppliers.
“Today a large part of our poultry comes from institutional farmers. Now we are going a step ahead and processing the chicken at the slaughtering level ourselves,” Shan Kadavil, CEO of FreshToHome, told TechCrunch in an interview.
FreshToHome currently has 650,000 customers in 10 cities in India, and recently launched operations in UAE, as well as opened physical stores in Bangalore and Chennai. The company recently generated $30 million in annualized direct to consumer sales, which makes it the largest eCommerce platform in the category. Kadavil revealed that the company is experiencing 30 percent month-to-month growth.
The company will use the new funding to expand its network of contract farmers, and add 200 to 300 tons of additional produce each month.
“FreshToHome’s brand proposition has been to provide 100 percent fresh food with 0 percent chemicals — not an easy thing to achieve in India at a large scale. By smartly using big data and machine learning, they have created a sustainable supply chain, which offers a fair price to consumers, fishermen and farmers, for their premium produce… We love companies that solve such hard issues in large market segments in India through unique tech-enabled moats!” Anand Prasanna, managing partner of Iron Pillar, said in a prepared statement.