Published: 1/19/2021

Good morning, it's Tuesday and we're coming to you a little late today as I acclimatize to the new timezone. A couple of big stories just dropped this AM so we shall be covering those- Licious is in talks to raise a huge round, and Salesforce just made their first investment in India.

  • http://bit.ly/35RDiD9: Licious aims to raise at a $800M valuation
  • ➡️ Meat delivery startup Licious is in talks to raise $80M that would value the company at around $800M, according to ET's sources. Several growth/PE firms are in talks with the company that has previously been backed by 3One4 Capital and Vertex Ventures.

    ➡️ The company was started in 2015 (side note: it really seems like companies are reaching billion dollar valuations much faster now), and gained prominence in the meat and seafood segments- the company now has kebabs, cold cuts, spreads and ready-to-cook products other than just raw chicken, fish and mutton.

    ➡️ The pandemic and lockdown has helped online grocery and food delivery startups and Licious has grown 300% just in the last 8 months (though I am unsure how much the business declined if it did in the early lockdown months). Not only are there more customers, but they are are buying more on the platform as the average order value has also increased by 30%.

    ➡️ Licious is currently only present in 9 cities and does about 1M orders a month- both numbers they are probably keen on growing. The news also comes amidst other meat delivery startups raising capital (FreshToHome raised $121M last October, and Zappfresh is also in talks to raise).

    ➡️ The Indian meat and seafood industry is still largely unorganized (>90%), but I assume this goes down in the future. It sounds like we're headed to a fight between FreshToHome and Licious in 2021 and beyond as these two companies will now be very well capitalized, but it will also be interesting to see if the online grocery startups also challenge these companies or acquire them.

    2. http://tcrn.ch/2LK8u0a: Salesforce leads a $15M investment into DarwinBox

    ➡️ The cloud-based HR management platform DarwinBox has announced a new round of funding today. The Series C is being led by Salesforce Ventures (their first investment in India) with participation from existing backers Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Ventures.

    ➡️ Over 500 companies including Tokopedia, Zilingo, Puma, Swiggy and Bigbasket use the company's HR platform to over 1M employees in 60 countries (this is up from 200 companies and 50 countries from 2019).

    ➡️ Dev Khare, a partner at Lightspeed, who led the company's Series A back in 2017 also wrote a great thread on the company's journey so far where the company has gone from Average contract values of $10k to over $100k and has grown the number of employees on the platform 20x.

    ➡️ The company has also gone from serving India to SE Asia to over 60 countries now and will use the new capital to go deeper in the MENA region, and broaden its offerings. DarwinBox also has grown its revenue 300% from September 2019 (when it last raised), it will be interesting to see the company accelerate its growth in the next few years.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/dkhare/status/1351368685567451142

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