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Licious: ‘Farm-to-Fork’ Operations, Business, and Revenue Model Explained

By Gursumeet Kaur 26th July 2021

Do you love chicken or red meat? Often look for clean and fresh fish and seafood? Or crave mutton and prawns? Sometimes, these things may not be available in the market outside or around you. But Licious has always been, is, and will be there to provide the best non-vegetarian products to its customers. Read the Licious business model and success story below!

licious business model

Licious business model explained:

About Licious

Licious delivers hand-cut, individually vacuum-sealed, packed fresh, marinated, or cold cut non-vegetarian products like meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and seafood. The company has 5 processing centers. One of each in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Gurugram, and 2 in Bangalore, with more than 90 delivery centers across all markets. Its applications are available on Android and iOS stores. A website is also present for the desktop convenience which is www.licious.in.

History of Licious

Licious, owned by Delightful Gourmet Pvt Ltd., is founded in July 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta. It was officially launched in October of the same year. The two were having lunch while discussing the business idea. The chicken they were having was of really bad quality. Vivek remarked that, if they have to build Licious they will have to put life in the dead chicken that they’re having! That was the moment they realized what they wanted to achieve through Licious. “To deliver an exceptional non-vegetarian experience to all the customers and introduce global quality standards & milestones”. Licious chose an easy-peasy mission statement- “We won’t sell what we won’t eat ourselves!”.

How does Licious work: The Licious Business Model

Licious works on a farm-to-fork model owning the entire back-end supply chain and the cold chain (zero inventory model). It also offers a subscription model that allows the customers to order products and schedule their online deliveries prior. An independent recipe section is also present on their customer platform. It helps the customers to cook delicious non-vegetarian dishes.

Starting from procurement, processing, storage to reach the consumer, everything is the responsibility of the company. With over 3500 employees, Licious business model claims to deliver the customer’s orders within 90-120 mins. And processes more than a million orders a month. Here, the transactions are known to be extremely safe and secured. The business model of the company is built to maintain the freshness, superiority, and value of every product. Every single product which is served is handpicked by a team of quality members. The team makes sure that the weight and age of the chicken or fish or any animal is according to their predefined conditions. For the meat to remain fresh and retain its natural juices, they store it at a temperature between 0-5 degrees throughout the processes of cleaning, cutting, storing, and even, till delivering. It does not contain any kind of antibiotics, chemicals, artificial preservatives, color, and flavoring.

licious business model

Licious: The most recognised D2C branding

Using D2C as a direct marketing channel to reach out to consumers, has helped Licious achieve 90% repeat customers who account for 85% of its business.

A quick look at the D2C operations to justify what Licious business model is doing. For example, this is how a traditional meat supply chain had worked before D2C days:

Farmers → Middlemen → Wholesalers → Butchers →  Retailers

But in the D2C space where Licious and a few other startups are operating, the supply chain only involves:

Farmers → Butchers → Startups

This ensures that the companies have a 30-40% profit margin.

Licious and Covid-19: The many sides to the fishing ban in the times of 2020 lockdown

In a regular year, the fishing ban is usually imposed in the monsoon season for two months (usually in phases), across the east and west coast of India. Last year, the situation was tricky. In an order released on April 10, 2020, by the Home Ministry, all fishing, including marine fishing, was permitted during the lockdown since they were essentials. But an order by the Fisheries Ministry on April 14, 2020, announced the implementation of the Fishing Ban till June 15, 2020. But it seems like the order was revoked considering the lockdown. The ground reality is that an unannounced ban was in place on the east coast with some fishing allowed at intermittent periods. On the west coast, there was no decision from the respective state governments. Fishermen from all coasts had requested their respective state governments to permit fishing as their livelihoods had been severely impacted due to the Covid-19 lockdowns. Another thing to consider is that the lockdown had led to a quick and robust decline in human activities across shores, thus providing marine life with ample rest and non-interference.

Licious is committed to responsible fish and seafood sourcing, whether it is cultured or captured, by abiding by the government rules and regulations and adopting best sourcing practices. The business partners are encouraged to use best practices that avoid the capture of immature and undersized fishes and also without jeopardizing the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. They tried to work closely with the authorities and to abide by the orders issued by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries as and when it was issued. In the meantime, they made freshwater fish like Rohu and Catla, and freshwater prawns available while seafood availability was scarce!

licious business model

Licious Revenue Model, Funding and Valuation

  • Licious business model has got a customer base of more than 1 million unique customers till date. The average cart size is around INR 700. In the first year of their operations in 2015, the company collected revenue of INR 1.47 crores. In FY 2019-20, the revenue collected was INR 180 Crores.
  • Licious has raised a total amount of USD 286.5 million in funding. It includes the recent Series F round of funding in June, done by Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Brunei Investment Agency, Vertex Ventures ($192 million).
  • Since its inception, Licious claims to have grown at a CAGR of 300% year on year, delivering 300+ SKUs to customers in 90-120 minutes and clocks around 1 Mn orders every month. Its overall revenue grew six times between May and December 2020, when doorstep delivery became the new normal due to coronavirus shutdowns. The startup claims that an average customer buys Licious products two-three times a month and spends close to INR 22,000 on a monthly basis. The company also reduced its net losses by 66% to INR 146.3 Cr in FY2019-20 from INR 438.7 Cr in the year before.
  • According to sources, the company is now valued at $650 million.

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Competitors of Licious

  • FreshtoHome: Freshtohome is a Bangalore based vertically focused E-grocery company dealing in fish, meat and vegetable products.
  • Zappfresh: Zappfresh is an online fresh meat brand run by Gurugram-based DSM Fresh Foods Pvt Ltd which ensures that the meat reaching customers’ doorstep, is hygienic and free.
  • BBdaily: BigBasket has branded the milk delivery service as BB Daily, a subscription service that allows customers to order milk and other daily essentials the previous night and have them delivered the following morning.

Recent Updates of Licious in 2021

  • Licious pledges to be ESG compliant in the next 12 months. Announced their commitment to be compliant with the global ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) norms during the current financial year. A focus on quality, sustainability & traceability has been a constant for Licious business model since inception. Taking a step further, the company is working towards a robust integration of sustainable development practices in their operations.
  • Licious celebrated its 6th birthday on July 5, 2021.
  • Licious grew its expansion to 16 cities from 14 markets and is planning for more 10+ cities in India and then global launch too, in the coming years.
licious business model


If you are thinking of getting into a business just like Licious, then Yelo can be your ultimate solution! Yelo can help you create an online D2C platform. With the aid of its all-encompassing range of features, Yelo can help you cater to your wide and varied customers in the easiest and most efficient manner possible.

Start your own online meat delivery business and cater to the hunger of your customers with exotic delicacies!
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