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Zappfresh in talks with Dabur’s Amit Burman, others to raise $5 million

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-09-2017 Kavya Kothiyal

Mumbai: Zappfresh, the online meat store run by Gurugram-based DSM Fresh Foods Pvt. Ltd, is in talks to raise $5 million, two people aware of the development said.

Dabur India Ltd vice-chairman Amit Burman is one of the investors in talks to invest in Zappfresh, one of the two people cited above said, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.

Zappfresh sells chicken, mutton and pork. It also sells pre-cooked items like cold cut ham, sausages and salami.

The online brand focusing on fresh meat and ready-to-cook products is co-founded by chief executive Deepanshu Manchanda. He had earlier worked in mobile wallet firm MobiKwik before co-founding the start-up.

Zappfresh partners with poultry farms bypassing local mandis, wholesalers and butcher shops to provide an end-to-end cold chain supply directly to the consumers.

In August 2016, the company raised an undisclosed amount from two angel investors, VCCircle.com reported. In 2015, it raised Rs2 crore from angel investors.

Emails seeking comments from DSM Fresh Foods went unanswered.

“We are evaluating it but there is no decision yet on the investment,” said Burman in an email response.

Burman is also responsible for driving business strategy, development and communications at Dabur Foods.

Dabur India has a portfolio of over 250 herbal or ayurvedic products. Dabur’s FMCG portfolio today includes five brands with distinct brand identities—Dabur as the master brand for natural healthcare products, Vatika for premium personal care, Hajmola for digestives, Réal for fruit juices and beverages and Fem for fairness bleaches and skin care products.

Other online meat retailers too have attracted the eye of investors.

In March, Bengaluru-based gourmet meat start-up Licious, run by Delightful Gourmet Pvt. Ltd, secured $10 million in a Series B round of funding led by existing its investors Mayfield India and 3one4 Capital, Mint reported.

Licious owns and operates a fully-automated meat processing unit at Hennur in Bengaluru as well as 11 delivery centres, and employs around 250 people. According to the firm it receives nearly 15,000 orders a month on average.

Investors have also pumped in capital into online grocery start-ups.

BigBasket, an online grocer, has so far raised at least $220 million in funds from investors, including Abraaj Group, Bessemer Venture Partners, Sands Capital and International Finance Corp. It last raised $150 million from a clutch of investors in March 2016 at a valuation of about $450-500 million.

Alibaba-backed online marketplace Paytm Mall had evinced interest to acquire a minority stake in the company for $200 million, Mint reported in July.

The company owns brands such as Fresho for vegetables, meat, and idli and dosa batter, and Royal and Popular for staples. In 2015, the company launched Tasties, a private label for coffee and snacks. The company also sells its private brands through about 1,000 neighbourhood stores in eight cities.

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