Licious - How it is Emerging as a One-Stop Platform for Fresh Meat & SeaFood?

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Love eating non-veg right? Whenever it is a certain Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, your hearts come out crying for non-veg. To have just a glimpse of your favorite non-veg dishes or a mouthful of the most delicious chicken, mutton, or fish is simply a yearning that grows all the more during these vegetarian days. However, even if we plan to have a quick snack out of the non-veg dishes, there are times that we don't manage to find them at our homes these days.

But that's no more of an issue in today's world.

Yes, with the birth of Licious, fresh meat and fish is not a scarcity now.

Whether you love chicken, meat, fish, seafood, eggs, or cold cuts, Licious is always there beside you to deliver the best products to your doorstep.

The Direct-to-consumer meat and seafood brand is announced as the first Indian unicorn company from the D2C segment and the 29th unicorn of the country in 2021. Licious joined the unicorn club on October 5, 2021.

Read more about Licious, Startup Story, Business Model, Revenue Model, Funding and investors, Growth, Competitors, and more in this success story that follows!

Licious - Company Highlights

  • Start-up Name-Licious
  • Headquarters-Bangalore
  • Industry-E-commerce and Food & Beverage
  • Founders-Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura
  • Founded-September 2015
  • Total Funding-$488.3 million (as per March 2022)
  • Valuation~$2+ bn (March 2022)
  • Revenue-$133 million+ (as per July 2021)

Licious - About

Licious is a Bengaluru-based meat and seafood brand. The company serves the best, fresh and clean fish, chicken, meat, and eggs online. Licious works on a farm to fork model owning the entire back-end supply chain and the cold chain. A separate recipe section is also present in their App. It helps the customers to cook delicious dishes. And also teaches the exotic chef style.

It operates across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Coimbatore, Pondicherry, Jaipur, Kochi, Vizag, Kolkata, and Vijayawada.

Licious - Startup Story

Abhay Hanjura approached Vivek Gupta (who was then working with Helion ventures) to explore the space of fresh meat and seafood delivery in India. Although 73% of Indian eat meat and seafood, the industry is highly unorganized. An average Indian household consumes 2000-3000 different branded products, meat being the only exception (well, almost). More than 95% of the fresh meat & seafood industry in India is unorganized & usually conjures up an image of an unhygienic local market, filth, stench & an unpleasant buying experience. The duo wanted to change the way Indian experiences meat.

Hence, Licious was created with the thought that India deserves better meat.

Abhay and Vivek were having lunch while discussing the business idea. The chicken they were having was of really bad quality. Vivek remarked that, if we have to build Licious we will have to put life in this dead chicken! That was the moment they realized what they wanted to achieve through Licious- to deliver an unparalleled meaty experience to Indians, introduce global quality standards & benchmarks, set up a hitherto non-existing infrastructure & build processes that India was yet to see.

Taking up thsi idea of changing the way meat is procured, processed and sold in India, Abhay Hanjura decided to leave well-paying job at an insurance brokerage firm where he worked. Hearing this, Hanjura's family, who were pure vegetarians, even threatened to disown him, finding this meaty idea very hard to stomach. However, they didn't decide to stop Abhay from meeting Vivek though, and as a result, we now have the unicorn online meat supplier, Licious, from where we can order meat and sea-food anytime.  

Licious chose a simple mission statement- we won’t sell what we won’t eat ourselves! It is this simple credo that has been the driving force at the company and continues to be so, 5 years later.

Licious - Founders And Team

Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura are the founders of Licious.

Vivek Gupta

Vivek Gupta is the Co-founder of Licious. He started his career as a Corporate Finance Manager of Tavant Technologies. Vivek previously served as the Finance Controller of Helion Ventures and the Non-Executive Director at MobiCom Commune Pvt. Ltd. He completed his BCom from Punjab University and went on to become a Chartered Accountant (CA).

Abhay Hanjura

Abhay Hanjura is also the Co-founder of Licious. He is a Hindu Kashmiri pandit and was the campus ambassador of Infosys. Abhay started his career as a Deputy Manager at India Insure Risk Management Services. He was also the Head of Business Intelligence and Associate Director of Futurisk Insurance Broking Pvt Ltd.

Licious lists over 3500 employees, who are currently working with the company.

Licious - Name, Tagline and Logo

It was the time when Vivek and Abhay started engaging with Adithya Kote, who was then the Creative Head at Cafe Coffee Day Group. For the naming of the brand, the duo went through 300+ name ideas, after which they were satisfied with "Licious" as the name, and decided to choose it, which is actually taken from the word “delicious”. When Abhay was once asked why he kept "Licious" as their brand name, he said, “We wanted to name our company something that appeals to people’s emotions. Our intention was to be a complete meat brand.”

Licious Old Logo and Licious New Logo (L to R) 

Licious changed its old logo to the new one on June 3, 2022. The popular meat brand launched its new logo with a new colour scheme and this way it refreshed its brand identity. Walking down the new logo, we find 3 colours dominating - smoky grey, hearty red, and creamy white. This new logo is launched in order to enliven the lusciousness associated with meat. Speaking on this new makeover, Santosh Hegde, Vice President, brands, Licious, mentioned that innovation and evolution are not just pertinent but critical to the journey of Licious.  

Licious Products

Licious has got a farm to fork business model. The company handles the entire supply chain. Starting from procurement, processing, storage to reaching the consumer, in the end, the responsibility of the company is everything. The startup it seems, has borrowed a page from Amul's playbook to get rid of the middlemen and control procurement directly along with processing and marketing. Speaking on it, Abhay said, "I strongly believe that what Amul did for milk, Licious will do for animal husbandry".  

Licious claims that 50% of the startup's meat comes from its own farms, which was only 10% in 2020. Furthermore, Licious also owns processing and delivery centres. Licious has also started to remove the stigma around meat right from the first day. Instead of black plastic bags, Licious sold meat in neat boxes and leakage-proof pouches and containers.  

With over 3500 employees the company claims to deliver the order within 90-120 mins. Furthermore, Licious claims to process more than a million orders a month.

Transactions are very safe and secured here with Licious. The company strives to maintain the freshness and the quality of every product. They have both, a web platform as well as a mobile app. Consumer loyalty is the main focus of the brand.

Licious - Revenue Model

Licious receives a major chunk of its revenues from the sale of its meat products, seafood, marinates, and eggs. The rest of the revenues come from the delivery of the products and other related services.

Licious has been successful in amassing more than 1 Million unique customers to date. The average basket size is INR 700. In the first year, the company collected revenue of INR 1.47 crores. In FY2019-20, the revenue collected was INR 131.8 crore.

Licious - Funding And Investors

Licious has raised a total amount of $488.3 million in funding that includes the latest funding round led by Amansa Capital, Kotak PE, Axis Growth, and others on March 15, 2022, where the investors infused $150 mn in funding. With the addition of this funding round, Licious has turned into the highest valued D2C startup in India, with a valuation that is estimated at around $2 bn, and falls into the group of Lenskart, The Good Glamm Group FirstCry, and others.  

The previous round of Licious was led by IIFL AMC’s Late Stage Tech Fund, which shot the company's valuation to cross the $1 billion mark, as of October 5, 2021. With this infusion, Licious became the 29th unicorn of India in 2021 and the first unicorn startup from the D2C segment.

Licious Investors

TV Mohandas Pai, Vertex Growth Fund, Nichirei Corp, 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, UCLA, Sistema Asia Fund, Mayfield Capital, Sistema Asia Fund, Korea-based Neoplux Technology fund and Innoven Capital are some of the investors in the company. The Series F round of investment further added Multiples Alternate Asset Management and Brunei Investment Agency as the latest investors.

Licious - Investments

Licious has made 1 investment to date. The maiden investment round of Licious went to Pawfectly Made, in which it invested close to $1 mn on April 27, 2022. Licious, along with the same, also became a strategic partner of the Bengaluru-based pet food startup.

Licious - Growth and Revenue

The business saw a 500% growth in the past year and continues to hold on to the momentum. While all product categories saw growth, the ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat categories contributed significantly to the revenue. Products like the kebab range & chicken spreads emerged as favourites, while new launches like tandoori products are seeing quick traction too. Licious is in fact, hailed as the largest player in this segment.  

Currently, Licious claims to have delivered two million orders to unique customers till date. The average basket size per consumer grw by 30% too.

The company has enjoyed a repeat purchase rate of 90% and continues to enjoy the same. Licious further takes pride in the fact that the company has successfully served more than 2 million unique customers during the past year.  

People usually say that most Indians are vegetarians. But this is not true. More than 73% of the population in India eats meat. This is the biggest fact behind Licious' growth. Surveys say that the fresh meat and seafood market is very unorganized. This is why online platforms have emerged to help people all around. Licious promised its consumers hygiene and quality.

Licious opened its first offline store in Bengaluru in June 2022 and is looking forward to be profitable in the next 12-18 months.

Licious Financials

The revenue from operations of Licious rose by 3.2X from Rs 131.8 crore in FY20 to become Rs 420.3 crore in FY21. Around 97.2% of its revenues came from the sales of its fresh meat, fish and seafood products, marinates, and eggs. The remaining portion of its revenues came from its deliveries and other associated services. Licious' losses increased further by 153% to stand at Rs 370 cr, while the company significantly improved its EBITDA margins, which stood at -95.12% to become -43.31% during FY21. Licious reported revenue worth Rs 69.4 crore in FY19.

The expenses of Licious grew too along with its revenues, which touched Rs 646.5 crore in FY21, rising from Rs 283.8 crore in FY20. The expenditure of Licious was Rs 148.5 crore in FY19. Though the Licious losses dipped down to Rs 146.3 crore in FY20 from Rs 438.7 crore in FY19, it again went up to become Rs 370 crore in FY21.  

Licious - Challenges

The challenges started from day 1 for Licious, even before it was launched.

Abhay's Family Opposed

Abhay Hanjura, who is from Jammu and hails from the family of Kashmiri pandits was opposed by his family, who are pure vegetarians to getting on with one such idea of building a meat startup. However, as they didn't restrain him completely from meeting Vivek, the startup took its shape ultimately and grew to become a revolutionary meat brand.

Late Deliveries

Outside of Abhay's house, things went so bad that the startup had to close operations on the very first day of its launch in a country that is No 4 in meat production globally. All of Licious' deliveries were late. Though the brand chased a a high-quality product solution, they didn't simply work that hard on the supply chain system. This is why it tool 15-20 more days for Licious to get back in business.    

Researchers found that there was dearth of cold storage facilities in India. Besides, storing meat well and retaining its freshness is a big challenge for many companies, which Licious is trying to capitalise on.  

Some other Licious challenges include:

  • The rise of more competitors and the intensity of the competition in the online meat market
  • Frequent livestock infections
  • The rise of meat substitutes
  • The costs that are involved in servicing smaller orders
  • Consumer preferences to buy meat from local meat sellers

Licious - Competitors

The top competitors of Licious are:

  • FreshToHome
  • ZappFresh
  • TenderCuts

Licious - Advertisements and Campaigns

Licious is not only new in its business strategy and the focused area of operation but also in its marketing campaigns and advertisements that the start has planned during its journey. The brand has collaborated with a bundle of celebrities from the Bollywood and the Tollywood film industries till now including Kunaal Roy Kapoor, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, etc

The company rolled out its #FasterChef campaign that the actor Kunaal Roy Kapoor featured, which was focused on good food and the joy of sharing the same. Most of the Licious campaigns are focusing on the same.

Licious - Awards and Achievements

Being the first major business in India that solely focuses on the delivery of fresh meat, fish, eggs, and seafood, Licious has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions in its journey so far. Here's a list of the awards and achievements that Licious has received to date:  

  • One of the top 12 emerging startups by CB Insights in 2016
  • Named among the SuperStartups Asia in 2017
  • BW Disrupt named Licious in its 40 under 40 list in 2018
  • Licious' founders were among the 50 Most Influential Indians GQ India
  • The company received the FSSC22000 UKAS certification in 2018
  • INC42 labelled Licious as one of the Most Innovative Startups in 2018
  • Entrepreneur Magazine noticed Licious in its 35 Under 35 in 2019
  • Fortune's 40 Under 40 list included Licious in 2019
  • It was in the same year that Licious was included in BW's 35 Under 35 list
  • Licious grabbed the CII_ Outstanding Performance in Food Safety Award in the category of Small & Medium Manufacturing Food Businesses –Rising Star - Meat & Poultry in 2019
  • Licious Spreads received the Frost & Sullivan Innovation Award in 2019
  • Licious was also dubbed by the Economic Times as one of the Most Promising Business Leaders of Asia in 2019
  • It was the Food & Beverage Start-up of the Year in 2020, as per the Entrepreneur Magazine

Licious - Future Plans

Licious has significantly increased its footprints over 2020 & 2021.

Licious used to operate in 14 markets across India, namely Bangalore, Hyderabad, NCR, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Jaipur, Coimbatore, Kochi, Puducherry, Vizag, Vijayawada, and Kolkata, which has now expanded to include 16 cities.

Over the next year, Licious will continue to expand to 10+ Indian cities. A global expansion is also on cards in near future.

Have you tried Licious yet? If yes, then share your experience and feedback on Licious. Feel free to reach us and share your feedback. We would love to hear from you. Do comment us in the comments section below. Happy Reading.


What is Licious?

Licious is a meat and seafood company. It serves the best quality meat online.

Who is the founder of Licious?

Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura are the founders of the company Licious.

How much is Licious' Revenue?

In the first year, the company collected revenue of INR 1.47 crores. The revenue from operations of Licious increased by 3.2X to stand at Rs 420.3 crore in FY21 from Rs 131.8 crore in FY20.

Is Licious an Indian company?

Yes. Licious is headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

How many customers does Licious have?

Licious has got a customer base of more than 1 Million unique customers to date. The average basket size is INR 700.

Who are the competitors of Licious?

The top competitors of Licious are FreshToHome, ZappFresh, and TenderCuts.

What is the business model of Licious?

Licious has got a farm-to-fork business model. The company handles the entire supply chain. Starting from procurement, processing, storage to reaching the consumer, in the end, is the responsibility of the company.