TenderCuts, an omnichannel meat and seafood brand, has raised Rs 110 crore ($15 million) in a round led by Paragon Partners, a mid-market PE fund founded by Siddharth Parekh and Sumeet Nindrajog with participation from NABVENTURES, a agri-food tech VC fund backed by NABARD.
The funding will allow TenderCuts to expand its current operations and pursue organic and inorganic growth opportunities. The company will also be able to scale up its supply chain and technology infrastructure to support innovation and accessibility of its products and services.
Founded in 2016 by Nishanth Chandran, TenderCuts provides freshly cut meat and seafood to customers through its neighbourhood stores, which cater to both walk-in customers and online shoppers.
TenderCuts claims it is the only branded company to offer fresh meat to consumers either at the store or at the doorstep, within two hours of the first cut.
Over 95 per cent of India’s $100 billion meat and seafood market is unorganised. The organised segment has grown rapidly during the pandemic, with an greater number of people focussing on quality, health, hygiene and convenience.
Today, TenderCuts' 25 stores in Chennai and Hyderabad cater to walk-in and online customers. The company’s core product portfolio includes fresh chicken, mutton, seafood, marinades, pickles, and eggs. It also has an expansive ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook product range comprising cold cuts, sausages, kebabs, shawarmas, etc.
Nishanth Chandran, Founder, and CEO, TenderCuts said, this investment will pave the way for the company to enter new markets and further establish its omnichannel network.
"We are delighted to partner with Paragon Partners and NABVENTURES and look forward to tapping into their significant experience in growing consumer businesses in the retail, agri, food & beverage, and e-commerce sectors," said Chandran.
Siddharth Parekh, Co-Founder, and Senior Partner, Paragon Partners said, “ We believe that TenderCuts has an opportunity to leverage its robust supply chain of farmers and fishermen and its omnichannel strategy to efficiently cater to the mass market. Given our team's deep experience in retail and e-commerce, we are confident that we can help TenderCuts achieve significant scale and accelerate the shift to the organized segment. We are also excited to announce that this will be the first investment from our second fund”.
According to G R Chintala, Chairman, Nabard and NABVENTURES, “Our investment in TenderCuts is a testament to NABVENTURES' commitment to give a big push to startups operating in the agri and allied space in India. We believe that TenderCuts’ omnichannel strategy gives it a clear edge over online-only/store-backed retail players”.
Rajesh Ranjan, Chief Executive Officer, NABVENTURES said, “The direct-to-consumer meat market is at a nascent stage in India with less than 1 per cent penetration. TenderCuts has been able to build a differentiated business model with omnichannel capability enabling TenderCuts to offer quality meat and seafood to the offline segment as well which is around 96 per cent of the market. NABVENTURES would leverage its network of FPOs and farmers to optimize the TenderCuts supply chain by sourcing of farm-fresh meat, provide additional income-earning opportunities for our farmers and build India’s largest meat brand over the next 5 years.”
Alvarez & Marsal and Klaw were the commercial and financial diligence and legal advisors respectively to Paragon Partners, Acuity Law advised NABVENTURES while investment banker IndigoEdge facilitated the transaction.