Indian B2B seafood marketplace Captain Fresh recently raised $12 million (€10.2 million) in a series A funding round co-led by venture capital firm Accel.
The company will use the money to beef up its supply-side tech, expand distribution globally and grow its team, according to the Economic Times in India.
The funding round saw participation from its existing investors Ankur Capital and Matrix Partners India, a venture capital group that invested early into Apple and FedEx.
It also saw participation by angel investors, including Jitendra Gupta (Jupiter), Asish Mohapatra and Ruchi Kalra (OfBusiness) Souvik Sengupta (Infra.Market), Rajesh Yabaji(BlackBuck), Revant Bhate (Mosaic Wellness), Ramakanth Sharma (Livspace), and Amrish Rau (PayU).
Founded in 2019 by Utham Gowda, the company now supplies seafood to more than 500 traditional retailers in India, as well as to online platforms. The company says it works with 1.6 million farmers and fishermen and has 1,500 landing centers.
Adding centralized trading, minimal touch points and strictly managed logistics, Captain Fresh adds 24-36 hours of shelf life to products, which will optimize costs by two to three times, it said.
The platform also brings in product grading, a concept up until now unattainable for most retailers due to the vast resources that would be needed to be on the ground, in person, sourcing selectively from a mind-boggling maze of suppliers.
Gowda himself comes at the challenge with a unique perspective. After spending six years in India's financial sector, culminating in his role as consumer-goods focused associate vice president at O3 Capital, he sharpened his seafood industry focus when he took a role as executive vice president at Indian seafood exporter Nekkanti Sea Foods, now one of his main investors alongside fellow major producer Sandhya Aqua Exports.