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Online seafood firm Captain Fresh raises $25mn in funding

Captain Fresh, an online seafood company, secured $25 million in funding. British International Investment (BII), supported by the UK government, and Andhra Pradesh’s Nekkanti Seafoods Group led the funding round. 

This funding is a part of a larger $48 million extended funding round. The company had already raised $20 million in September last year. SBI Investment and Evolvence Capital from Japan led the previous round. Existing investors like Tiger Global, Prosus, Accel, and Matrix Partners India also participated in the funding.

Utham Gowda, the founder and chief executive of the firm, announced that they are currently negotiating an additional $3 million in funding from SBI Investment.

“By supporting Captain Fresh, we are delighted to be able to reach and support more fishermen with improved economic opportunities, as well as to promote sustainable production and reduce wastage. We are also keen to support India’s food exports as a way to support global food security,” Abhinav Sinha, managing director and head of technology and telecoms at BII, said in a statement. 

BII and SBI Investment are investing in the firm for the first time. After this funding, Utham Gowda, the CEO, will have a 19% stake in the company. Matrix Partners will hold 12.5%, while Accel and Ankur Capital will have about 11 to 12% each. Prosus and Tiger Global will each have around 10%, Gowda added.

The raised funds will be primarily used to expand Captain Fresh’s operations in the US and European markets.

“We expect to become fully vertically integrated in these markets and evolve from being just an exporter to also distributing on our own (sic),” Gowda said. The company plans to invest in expanding its supply chain in Southeast Asia, sourcing products from countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. 

Captain Fresh recently acquired Senecrus, a Paris-based shrimp cooker and distributor, as part of its European expansion strategy. 

The firm operates in a business-to-business (B2B) format, supplying fish and seafood to sellers. In the next two to three months, over 50% of its business will come from the US market, up from 25-30% previously. Captain Fresh anticipates that 80-85% of its total business will come from the European and US markets.

Captain Fresh collaborates with retailers such as Metro, Auchan, and Carrefour, operating in France, Germany, Poland, and the Middle East. While about 2-3% of its business comes from India, the firm decided to shift from an India-focused approach to an international export focus. 

Utham Gowda said that this shift offers a better opportunity for profitability. He noted that the company has already achieved profitability on a monthly basis and anticipates full profitability in FY25, although specific numbers were not disclosed.

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