B2B seafood startup Captain Fresh is set to raise approximately $7 Mn (INR 58 Cr) from British International Investment (BII). This development underscores the growing interest of international investors in India’s seafood market, positioning Captain Fresh for further expansion and growth.
The funding entails the issuance of around 500 Series C7 compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) to British International Investment. This infusion will grant the UK-based development finance institution a 1.45% stake in Captain Fresh. Notably, Ankur Capital, with BII as its limited partner, has previously invested in the startup, aligning with the strategic vision of both entities.
Part of a Larger Round:
This funding round likely forms a part of a larger financing initiative initiated by Captain Fresh earlier this year. Inc42 estimates the startup’s pre-money valuation to range between $500 Mn to $600 Mn, reflecting its robust growth trajectory and market potential.
Previous Investments and Investors’ Participation:
In recent months, Captain Fresh secured $13 Mn in funding from investors like Nekkanti Sea Foods and Shakti Finvest Pvt Ltd. With the ongoing round, existing backers including Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, Evolvence, and SBI Investment are expected to contribute, underscoring their continued confidence in the startup’s prospects.
Company Background and Operations:
Founded in 2019 by Utham Gowda, Captain Fresh operates as a farm-to-retail platform specializing in fish, seafood, and sheep. Its procurement model involves direct sourcing from agents and farmers, catering to both B2B and B2B2C channels. While the startup has scaled down its B2B operations across most cities, it continues to focus on B2B2C operations, primarily in select Indian cities. Furthermore, Captain Fresh is strategically shifting its focus towards exports, targeting markets in the US and Europe.
Captain Fresh’s expansion plans extend beyond domestic markets, with intentions to venture into African and Middle Eastern regions, as announced during its $50 Mn Series C fundraising from Prosus Ventures and Tiger Global in 2022. The startup’s strategic pivot towards export markets aligns with its vision for sustained growth and global market penetration.
The investment in Captain Fresh comes amidst notable developments in the meat delivery sector. TenderCuts, a prominent player, was acquired by Delhi NCR-based omnichannel meat brand Good To Go in a distressed sale last year. Additionally, market leader Licious recently underwent a restructuring exercise, resulting in workforce reductions. Despite these challenges, the sector continues to attract substantial funding, with FreshtoHome securing $104 Mn in Series D funding and ZappFresh raising $4.3 Mn from prominent investors.
The infusion of $7 Mn in funding from British International Investment marks a significant milestone for Captain Fresh, positioning it for accelerated growth and market expansion. As the startup continues to navigate the evolving landscape of the seafood industry, bolstered by strategic investments and international partnerships, it remains poised to capitalize on emerging opportunities and establish its leadership in the global seafood market.