Online meat and seafood start-up Licious is planning to open 30 stores across India by the end of the year. "Starting from Bengaluru, NCR, Mumbai as a first step will be followed by Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, confirms Abhay Hanjura, co-founder, Licious in an interview with CNBC-TV18's Storyboard.
"Although we have opened our offline presence significantly through various stores, the idea was to open our offline stores by now," said Hanjura while saying how the second wave impacted their plans. But, the products from Licious are available at various offline stores across such as Natures Basket.
The pandemic-led disruption last year gave a huge boost to online meat buying, prompting the Bengaluru-based startup to go beyond metros and start operations in smaller cities this year.
The brand had recently unveiled a mass media campaign featuring Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor to highlight the safety and hygiene of meat being offered by Licious.
"Meat lovers have a very deep relationship with their meat where the consumer takes so much pain and effort to select. And all we want to convey is that we take as much effort," Hanjura said.
Speaking on their choice of endorsers with Anil and Arjun combo, Hanjura shares how in the past this category has been surrounded by dogma and hypocrisy, "We still get meat in a decreet black coloured plastic bag. The idea of this whole campaign was to bring the category out of the closet.”
Licious recently raised $65 million funding in Series F round from multiples alternate asset management, Brunei Investment Agency, Vertex Ventures and a few others. Bengaluru-based Licious operates in 16 cities, including Bengaluru, NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chandigarh.
The six-year-old company has built a farm-to-fork model including handling the entire back-end supply chain. Early last year, it had also forayed into the ready-to-eat segment.
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)