Today Bangaluru, India-based startup FreshToHome announced that it had raised a $20 million Series B round led by Iron Pillar with Joe Hirao and others participating (via TechCrunch). The startup raised an $11 million Series A in May, bringing its total amount of funding raised to $33 million.
FreshToHome is an e-commerce platform that sells fresh food — like vegetables, seafood, and meat — directly to consumers in nine Indian cities. It puts special emphasis on the fact that none of its products have any chemicals and its meat is antibiotic-free. The company will use its new capital to expand further into India and the UAE and add new products to its platform.
This hefty fundraise speaks to the massive potential for food innovation startups in India. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of investment action in the country, especially in food delivery. There are already two Indian food delivery unicorns, Swiggy and Zomato, both of whom have been racking up significant investment lately to combat competitors like Amazon and UberEats. Cloud kitchen services are growing to support the spread of delivery: Box8 and Faasos have had significant raises within the past year. There are also quite a few Indian grocery delivery services, including e-grocer Big Basket which joined the unicorn club this May.
The interest is likely spurred by increasing income levels in India as well as the global rise in demand for convenience and the proliferation of online ordering. By placing FreshToHome’s particular emphasis on chemical-free products, FreshToHome is also tapping into consumers’ growing interest in food transparency, especially in India where fish from markets are sometimes treated with chemicals to make them appear fresher.
Of course, as food tech investment heats up, so does the competition. With two significant fundraises in the past three months, FreshToHome seems to be trying to strike while the iron is hot and expand their footprint before the Indian fresh food delivery space gets too crowded.