FreshToHome is one of the largest integrated fresh fish, poultry and meat e-commerce platform that services over 15 lakh orders per month.
Having raised over $121 million in funding, FreshToHome is now looking at expanding its presence in Saudi Arabia; after being recognised amongst the top 5 e-grocery players in UAE. In India, the company has expanded its offerings by adding grocery to its list; with plans to cater to nearly 5 million orders in this segment by next year.
Manish Joshi from NewsBarons connects with Shan Kadavil, Co-founder and CEO of FreshToHome who informs ‘We saw over 2.5x times growth since the lock down and around 4x growth in the last 12 months‘.
NB: Tell us about FreshToHome.
Shan: The key differentiator of Freshtohome is our direct sourcing approach through the network of sellers on our platform, we use technology to cut off middlemen and source directly from fishermen and farmers. This enables us to fulfil our brand promise of “100% fresh 0% chemicals” which requires you to know where your food comes from. For a competitor, who buys from vendors in the city, this is a hard task to do and has led to a rapid popularity for freshtohome.com.
NB: A highly competitive and unorganized category, what was the opportunity area to launch FreshToHome.
Shan: Me and other co-founders of FreshToHome have a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship background, having been
part of leadership teams of companies such as Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) and SupportSoft (NASDAQ:SPRT). In my last role, I used to be the India CEO for Zynga where I made games like FarmVille that were played by millions of users. As a foodie, I love my fish and meat and used to buy from a company called Seatohome.com started by current co-founder Mathew Joseph, a veteran from the seafood field.
Mathew knew his fish, but didn’t quite know how to scale a e-commerce business. When he had to unfortunately close his business, I angel funded him (for the love of good fish), and that’s how all of us jumped in to start freshtohome.com
NB: You are one of the few in this category to raise considerable funds, what have been the deployable areas.
Shan: We have a raised a total of $121M in our series C and $31M prior to that. We will be utilising the funds to deepen our vertical integration to enable our sellers to add more fishermen and farmers to our platform. We today have over 1500 fishermen across 125 harbours in India on our platform and would love to expand that network. We will also be expanding to most tier 1 cities in India starting with Calcutta in the immediate future. Internationally, we are expanding to Saudi Arabia and also continue to deepen our presence in UAE where we are among the top 5 e-grocery players.
NB: What has been the impact of Covid 19 on the business.
Shan: COVID-19 transformed the fish and meat purchasing behavior of consumers dramatically. Due to safety concerns, consumers made the habit-forming shift to e-commerce and we saw online demand for our products going up many folds this year thanks to safety guarantee of “100% Fresh and 0% Chemicals”. While the entire category has benefited, FreshToHome unique brand assurance and our ability to directly source from the fishermen and farmers with our patent-pending AI-powered supply chain technology is a key reason why we have seen larger growth in this category during COVID.
Additionally we are able to provide reputed third party lab certification on our site/app, that there are no anti-biotic residue or preservatives in the products we sell. This has been a big reason to gain trust from consumers on our brand assurance. We saw over 2.5x times growth since the lock down and around 4x growth in the last 12 months.
NB: Tell us about your growth plans.
Shan: Currently, we have been servicing over 20lacs customers and doing 15 lacs orders per month which have resulted in an annual sale of 600 crore. In the span of the next year, we are aiming to hit INR 1500 crore of revenue. We will be present in 56 cities in India and foray into Saudi Arabia in next 12-24 months.
In terms of business expansion, recently we have ventured into the grocery business too by launching a daily delivery service called ‘FTH Daily’ that specializes in delivering milk, groceries, fruits, vegetables and daily essentials. It is now available in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune. The service has about 2,000 products, which is now being scaled to 5000 products. The company expects the number of orders on FTH Daily to scale up to 4-5 million over the next year.
We will also be expanding our farming, supply chain and processing capabilities across precision agriculture and aquaculture internationally in UAE.