FreshToHome raises $121 million in funding from Investment Corporation of Dubai, others

News Network
October 27, 2020

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New Delhi, Oct 27: FreshToHome, an online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce, on Tuesday said it has raised $121 million (about Rs 890.8 crore) in funding led by Investment Corporation of Dubai, Investcorp, Ascent Capital, DFC, Allana Group and other investors.

Iron Pillar, the lead investor from the previous series B round, also participated in this round (series C) with an investment of USD 19 million, a statement said.

Barclays was the advisor for the transaction, it added.

Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) is the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, while Investcorp is a global manager of alternative investments and DFC is a US government development finance institution.

Covid-19 transformed the fish and meat purchasing behaviour of consumers dramatically and due to safety concerns, consumers made the habit-forming shift to e-commerce, FreshToHome co-founder and CEO Shan Kadavil said.

"...we saw online demand for our products going up many folds this year...We are just beginning to scratch the surface of a very large market and the current capital raise will help us realise our full potential through rapid expansion in India and the Middle East," he added.

According to a report by Euromonitor International, the consumer market size of fish and meat segment in India in 2019 was estimated to be at USD 94 billion.

FreshToHome claims to be the world's largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce, with approximately 1.5 million B2C orders per month and USD 85 million (about Rs 600 crore) annualised sales run rate on the platform.

FreshToHome enables its marketplace sellers to source and sells high-quality meat and fish directly from livestock farmers and fishermen in most major Indian cities and the UAE.

Some of the early backers of FreshToHome include Mark Pincus (Zynga founder), David Krane (CEO of Google Ventures), Pete Briger (Chairman of Fortress), Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair (Chairman of Mashreq Bank), Rajan Anandan of Sequoia and other renowned investors.

"DFC's first equity deal with FreshToHome demonstrates the power of our new equity tool to drive development and advance U.S. foreign policy," said US Government's DFC CEO Adam Boehler.

This project will support economic growth and strengthen agricultural supply chains in a key US partner, he added.

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News Network
December 1,2020

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Jammu, Dec 1: Abdul Rashid Shora, father of student activist and former JNU Students' Union vice-president Shehla Rashid, Monday accused her daughter of having taken a huge sum of money from a businessman for joining politics in Kashmir.

Releasing a three-page letter addressed to J&K Director General Police (DGP) at a press conference in Jammu, Shora claimed that he is facing a threat to his life from Shehla, her sister, her mother and her armed security guard. Shora sought a probe into his daughter’s finances, accusing her of receiving Rs 3 crore from two people under investigation for terror funding.

Shora claimed that his daughter had been first offered the amount through him to join a party that was to be floated by former IAS officer Shah Faesal. While he refused, his daughter allegedly accepted the “deal”.

“Shehla threatened me not to disclose this deal to anybody or my meeting with Zahoor Watali and Engineer Rashid, otherwise my life would be in danger,” Shora claimed.

He alleged that the money was given by businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Wattali, who is currently lodged in Tihar jail in a terror funding case. Shora also sought an enquiry into their bank accounts, email IDs, acquisitions of property by them in Delhi.

The DGP has reportedly forwarded the letter to the IGP Kashmir for “appropriate action.”

However, responding to her father's allegations, Shehla termed his statement “absolutely disgusting and baseless.” “Many of you must have come across a video of my biological father making wild allegations against me and my mum and sis. To keep it short and straight, he's a wife-beater and an abusive, depraved man. We finally decided to act against him, and this stunt is a reaction to that,” she tweeted.

In another tweet, she said: “My mother has tolerated abuse, violence and mental torture all her life. She has kept quiet for the sake of respect for the family now that we have started speaking up against his physical and mental abuse, he has started abusing us too.”

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Agencies
November 18,2020

Bhopal, Nov 18: The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to set up a "gau cabinet" for the protection and promotion of the cow, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on Wednesday.

Opposition Congress said the BJP has forgotten its election promise of creating a separate cow ministry.

"It has been decided to constitute a `gau cabinet' for the protection and fostering of godhan (cow and its progeny) in the state," Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.

Ministers of Animal Husbandry, Forest, Panchayat and Rural Development, Revenue, Home and Farmers' Welfare departments will be part of this cabinet, he said.

"The first meeting will be held at 12 noon on November 22 to mark Gopashtami at Gau Sanctuary in Agar Malwa," he added.

Necessary orders for the constitution of the cow cabinet have been issued, officials said.

Besides Chouhan, the cabinet will include Home Minister Narottam Mishra, Forest Minister Vijay Shah, Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia and Minister for Animal Husbandry Prem Singh Patel.

Six departments will execute the decisions of the gau-cabinet in a coordinated manner, Chouhan said in a statement later.

An action plan will be implemented for increasing the use of cow dung cakes (`kanda'). The making and marketing of Gau-Kasht (cow-wood) is being encouraged at present, similarly efforts will be made to market other products made from cow milk, he said.

State Congress chief Kamal Nath said that Chouhan did not keep his promise made before the 2018 Assembly elections.

"Shivraj Singh, who announced the formation of a separate cow ministry (department) in the state before the 2018 assembly elections, is now talking about setting up a cabinet for cow protection and fostering," he said.

He has forgotten his old announcement, Nath said.

"There has been no work for cow protection and promotion during the 15 years' BJP rule in the state. On the contrary, they reduced the money given for cow shelters," Nath said, adding that the Congress government had started the work on construction of 1,000 cow shelters.

Home Minister Mishra countered that the Congress government under Nath only talked about building cow shelters during its 15-month rule but was not able to set up even 15 shelters.

"The BJP is nurturing Indian culture. The MP government has set a new example by constituting a gau cabinet," Mishra added.

Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti praised Chouhan for the decision.

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News Network
November 30,2020

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New Delhi, Nov 30: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday brought back over 2,300 kg of polished diamonds and pearls worth Rs 1,350 crore of firms belonging to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi from Hong Kong, the agency said.

Out of the 108 consignments that landed at Mumbai, 32 belong to overseas entities in the UAE and Hong Kong "controlled" by Nirav Modi while the rest are of Mehul Choksi firms, it said in a statement.

Both the businessmen are being probed by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with an over USD 2 billion alleged bank fraud at a PNB branch in Mumbai.

The 2,340 kg valuables include polished diamonds, pearls and silver jewellery, and are worth Rs 1,350 crore.

The ED completed "all legal formalities" with authorities in Hong Kong to bring back these valuables, the agency said.

These valuables, officials said, were moved to Hong Kong from Dubai in early 2018 so that they could be saved from being seized or attached by the ED or any other investigating agency.

The ED got intelligence inputs on this movement in July that year and since then the sleuths were on its trail.

These valuables were kept in the godown of a logistics company in Hong Kong, the central probe agency said.

"The officers were continuously engaged in discussions with various authorities in Hong Kong to bring these valuables back to India. Various modalities were finalised and after completing all the legal formalities these consignments have now been brought back to India," it said, adding they will be formally seized under the PMLA.

This is the second such action on this case as ED had earlier brought back 33 consignments of valuables from Dubai and Hong Kong. They were valued at Rs 137 crore then, the ED said.

On June 8, a special PMLA court in Mumbai had allowed the confiscation of the attached assets of Nirav Modi, the key accused in this case, under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act (FEOA).

This was the first such order in the country after the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act was passed two years ago.

Nirav Modi (49), currently lodged in a UK jail, was declared a fugitive economic offender in December by the Mumbai court. He was arrested in London in March 2019 and is presently fighting extradition to India.

His uncle Mehul Choksi has been evading the law since the probe into this case began and was last stated to be living in Antigua and Barbuda from where the Indian government is seeking his extradition, the probe agencies have said.

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