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Lotte, Shinsegae considering investing in Fresheasy Meal kit company has raised more than $87 mil from Seed to Series C rounds

Translated by Kim So-in 공개 2021-07-09 07:32:37

이 기사는 2021년 07월 09일 07:30 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korea’s retail giants show strong interest in Fresheasy, the largest meal kit company in the country with a market share of 70%, amid soaring demand for meal kits after the outbreak of Covid-19.

Lotte Group and Shinsegae Group are weighing whether to invest in Fresheasy, industry sources said Wednesday. They are reportedly considering investing as much as 40 billion won ($34.9 million) through their venture capital arms, Lotte Ventures and Signite Partners.

Fresheasy has proved is competitiveness in the home meal replacement (HMR) market as it has secured strong distribution channels including Lotte ON, SSG.com, Coupang and home shopping companies.

Fresheasy has raised more than 100 billion won so far from Seed to Series C funding rounds. The company signed an original development manufacturing contract with dairy products company HY thanks to strong growth potential of the HMR market in 2017. Many financial investors including NAU IB Capital, Timewise Investment, and a consortium of Shinhan Investment Corp and Cognitive Investment put 10 billion won in a Series A funding round.

In 2018, the company raised 2 billion won from Union Investment Partners and around 30 billion won from Hana Financial Investment Private Equity (PE) and GS Home Shopping in early 2019 in a Series B funding round.

Later in the year, Fresheasy raised 50 billion won from nine investors including SoftBank Ventures Asia, NAU IB Capital, NongHyup Bank, NH Investment & Securities, SBI Investment, Union Investment Partners, Industrial Bank of Korea, Korea Investment & Securities and GS Home Shopping in a Series C funding round. The proceeds were used to build a new plant in Yongin, Gyeonggi province.

The South Korean HMR market is expected to continue to grow this year amid the prolonged pandemic. Shipments of HMR products have grown at an annual growth rate of about 14% in recent years thanks to growing demand and increasing overseas sales, according to data from Korea Trade Statistics Promotion Institute. As of September 2020, exports of processed foods amounted to $3.8 billion, up 12.7% year-on-year.

Fresheasy’s revenue has grown exponentially in recent years. Its revenue grew nearly sixfold from 21.8 billion won in 2018 to 127.1 billion won in 2020.

The company is set to raise 250 billion won to 300 billion won from Praxis Capital. The PE firm plans to acquire shares owned by existing financial investors and new shares issued by Fresheasy. (Reporting by Seon-young Kim)
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