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How 6-month old startup Licious induced TV Mohandas Pai to invest in them

How 6-month old startup Licious induced TV Mohandas Pai to invest in them
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Born out of the idea of addressing the problem of finding fresh and hygienic meat without distress, Bengaluru headquartered Licious redefines meat shopping experience like never before. The 6-months old startup has brought together all stages of fresh meat procurement, processing and delivery under one roof whilst ensuring the quality.

Founded by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Licious today owns and operates a fully automated meat processing unit at Hennur with delivery hubs in localities such as Marathahalli and Kammanhalli in Bengaluru covering an eight-kilometre delivery radius.

“With urban India becoming more open to gastronomical experimentation, meat as a category is bound to do exceptionally well. Meat procurement continues to be a challenge for people in terms of its quality and freshness. People are being forced to buy or consume frozen meat .With Licious, we are here to bring the change for good. The brand positioning is simple, its consumer oriented, friendly & relatable to every household. We aim to be synonymous with meat in India,” said Abhay Hanjura, Founder, Licious.

(L:R-  Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, Founders, Licious)

With an aim to satisfy customers through the finest and freshest meat availability, the startup provides its customers with all the essential tips whether it is a request of a particular cut, inquiry about a recipe, or sharing cooking tips. Further, to deliver fresh and quality products to the customers, the startup makes sure that each and every meat products goes through internal quality checks.

To meet the quality standards, Licious has designed a zero inventory model. It has further built tie-ups with various meat vendors so that they can supply fresh meat without preservatives. Moreover, customers can place their orders via channels like phone, website or mobile app and they guarantee to deliver meat within 90 minutes from ordering. Licious delivers meat products through patented, secure, vacuum sealed and temperature controlled containers.

"To put it simply, Licious is the easiest and most convenient solution in the market," said Vivek Gupta, Co-founder, Licious. "It puts the power of choice back into the hands of customers by enabling them to easily customize and choose exactly what they need at guaranteed freshness as per industry standards. Licious also offers a subscription model that allows pre-set delivery dates and products apart from also delivering marinated meats at the doorstep as per consumer requirements,” he adds further.

Within 6-months of its launch, the startup is able to grab $1 million (Rs 6.4 crore) in angel funding from former Infosys board member TV Mohandas Pai, and Kanwaljit Singh, former Co-founder and Senior MD of Helion Venture Partners. The venture plans to utilize this money on building tech capabilities, spreading their footprints across Bangalore and developing marketing strategies.

Speaking about their fund raising experience, Hanjura said, “This piece was a great learning for us. My Partner and Co-founder Gupta comes from a VC background and it was interesting for him to see the journey on the other side of the table. We were lucky to have come from an ecosystem which helped us meet like-minded people, who incidentally also happened to be angel investors. All of them including Pai related to this glaring problem and honestly just loved the vision. What interested them was that we wanted to walk into this space with a “brand-play” and not an aggregator approach because we realised that the pain points in this space were not delivery but quality, hygiene and trust.”

The venture has also partnered with hyper local delivery startup Grofers to scale up its reach across the city and ensure delivery of fresh vacuum-packed meat.

Licious plans to open a total of 6 – 8 hubs in phases to cover the rest of Bangalore as they scale up. “We are enthused by the initial response so much that we now would quickly look to establish ourselves across Bangalore as suggested earlier and move on to the other parts of India soon. We want to occupy the leadership position here and not leave this position, to that effect we are aiming to be in most of the major metros in India over the next one year and take it from there. On the product side, we have some very exciting categories up our sleeves,” said Hanjura.

As per various Industry Reports, Indian meat market is close to $30 billion and India also happens to be one of the largest exporters of meat. The industry is registering double digit growth year-on-year, and some categories like poultry have been registering a CAGR of 30 per cent year-on-year.  Now we have to see that how far Licious will be able to tap this market in coming time.

Edition: December 2016

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