Almost 200 million people in India are undernourished and border closings and lockdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated this widespread food insecurity. Although India is one of the world’s largest food producers, weak supply chains often prevent food from reaching consumers before it spoils. While multiple small businesses are working to improve these food supply chains, they often face difficulty accessing essential financing.
Solution and Impact:
A $15 million equity investment will help Freshtohome Foods Ltd. expand its Bangalore-based e-commerce business that sells fresh fish, meat, and vegetables in major metropolitan cities in India. Freshtohome is a five-year-old company built with proprietary technology to connect more than 1,500 fishermen and farmers to its network that delivers affordable fish and meat products to consumers, while also helping food producers earn higher prices than they typically receive at auction.
Freshtohome fills more than 15,000 orders a day, which are processed electronically, and delivered in temperature-controlled vehicles. The business estimates that it supports jobs and generates income for more than 17,000 fishermen, farmers and logistics workers – a number it expects will increase to 70,000 within five years.
The business is also working to introduce modern fish farming practices across 42 farms with advanced aquaculture and aquaponics technology that can increase yields two to three times over traditional fish farming methods.