December 21, 2021. Bengaluru: Captain Fresh, a tech-enabled B2B seafood marketplace announced today that it has raised $40M in a Series B investment round co-led by Tiger Global and Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures). Existing investors Matrix Partners India, Accel India, Ankur Capital, and Incubate Fund have also participated in the round.
Founded in 2019 by Utham Gowda, Captain Fresh has rapidly emerged as a preferred monetization partner for supplier communities across the Indian coast. This has been made possible by a tech-enabled distribution network that spans 20 cities and more than 2,000 retail businesses. Captain Fresh has become a reliable alternative to the wholesale wet markets in these cities for suppliers and B2B customers. The company's deep tech layer enables a seamless process when carrying out traditional trade and helps optimize the value delivered to the supply communities.
Captain Fresh empowers small fishermen and farmers through its platform that aggregates the fragmented retail demand from across the country. Through this capital infusion, the company plans to build tech interventions and deeper tech integrations across the supply and demand side network, such as, a real-time trading marketplace, pricing and quality standardization using AI, as well as the application of robotic automation to move massive volumes with precision. Captain Fresh will also utilise the funds towards expanding its team and distribution network across geographies.
Utham Gowda, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Captain Fresh, spoke about securing the new investment, "For centuries, the fish and seafood industry has stayed the same with very little innovation and we have a unique opportunity to revolutionize the sector utilising technology. We are thrilled to have investors like Tiger, Prosus Ventures, Accel and Matrix believe in us, following early backers Ankur Capital and Incubate Fund, which clearly emboldens our vision. We are aggressively expanding our aspirations across all dimensions '“ products, value chain presence, and markets '“ to create an institution that could define our generation.'
Captain Fresh has demonstrated 6x growth in the last 12 months and is transforming retail across B2R, B2B and B2B2C segments. Its reseller segment (B2B2C) has demonstrated an increase of 20x within just three months of launch, retailing about 1.2M kgs of fish and seafood every month. Its positive unit economics, coupled with industry-leading gross margins, high frequency and rapid expansion make it the leading fish & seafood marketplace in India.
Ashutosh Sharma, Head of Investments, India, Prosus Ventures, said, "We are thrilled to partner with Captain Fresh in their goal to transform a highly fragmented and inefficient industry. The team has demonstrated impressive execution and strong unit economics. We are confident about their ability to utilise technology to solve for efficiency and scalability challenges and at the same time make a very positive impact on a large number of fishermen in the country.'
"Captain Fresh, which operates in the harvest-to-retail business for fresh fish and seafood, has exhibited an impressive growth with positive unit economics. It has increased its penetration in multiple geographies across India through expansion of channels (to include B2R, B2B2C, B2B), by leveraging technology, aggregating supply and building a demand-side network through various supply chain initiatives like grading and payload optimisation. We are excited to deepen our partnership with Captain Fresh as they hire stellar talent, and expand both in India and globally,' said Barath Shankar Subramanian, Partner, Accel.
"Captain Fresh has experienced exponential growth over the last 12 months and this fundraise is a testament to their supply first tech-enabled business model that has helped them scale rapidly while improving economics by optimising for losses and dump in the seafood supply chain. We are excited to be strengthening our partnership with Utham, and to continue supporting him on this journey of transforming the global seafood supply chain. We welcome Tiger Global and Prosus to the partnership and look forward to the journey ahead," said Sudipto Sannigrahi, Principal, Matrix India.
Elluminate Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Captain Fresh on this transaction.
Globally, fish and seafood demand is estimated to be $400B and represents one of the fastest growing protein segments with an ever-expanding supply gap. India has the potential to be a global superpower in the fish and seafood industry - it already ranks second in freshwater fish production and third in marine fish production.
About Captain Fresh:
Captain Fresh is a farm to retail (B2R) platform for seafood and freshwater fishes. It procures fishes/seafood directly from the agents/farmers, and supplies across B2B, B2R and B2B2C channels, providing superior quality fishes at competitive pricing compared to unorganised channels. Further information is available at www.captainfresh.in. You can get in touch with the team at email@example.com
Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.'¯The group is focused on building meaningful businesses in the online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, and education technology sectors. Through the Prosus Ventures team, the group invests in new technology growth opportunities within logistics, fintech, health, blockchain, social and ecommerce platforms, agriculture and more. The team actively backs exceptional entrepreneurs who are using technology to improve people's everyday lives.
Each month, more than 2 billion customers across the globe use the products and services of'¯companies that'¯Prosus'¯has invested in, acquired or built.'¯To find out more, please visit www.prosus.com.
About Matrix Partners India:
Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with approximately $1 billion under management. Founded in 2006, the firm invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer and enterprise market at the seed, early and early growth stages. Matrix India has invested in several B2B companies such as OfBusiness (B2B Commerce, fintech), LoadShare (tech-enabled logistics network), Bijnis (digital B2B marketplace), Vegrow (tech platform for farmers), FarMart (micro-SaaS platform for food supply), and Saveo (B2B e-commerce marketplace for pharmacies).
Other marquee investments include Ola (mobility), Dailyhunt (mobile local language platform), Razorpay (payments), Five Star Business Finance (SME lending), Ola Electric (electric vehicles), Stanza Living (tech-enabled student housing platform), OneCard (mobile-first credit card), DealShare (social commerce platform), Mswipe (mobile POS), and Zupee (leading skill-based gaming app) among others. Matrix India has advisory offices in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. Matrix Partners has a global network of funds investing in the US, China and India, with approximately $5 billion under management. Further information is available at www.matrixpartners.in. To know more about our investment philosophy & ideologies, check out the #MatrixMoments podcast series.