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Licious gears up for IPO with new CFO, profit pursuit

By Peerzada Abrar
May 29, 2024 15:40 IST
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Fresh meat and seafood delivery unicorn Licious is intensifying its talent acquisition endeavours as it pursues profitability and readies for an initial public offering (IPO) within the next 24 months.


Photograph via LinkedIn

Delightful Gourmet, Licious’ parent company, has named 39-year-old Karishma Gupta as its new chief financial officer (CFO).

Her appointment aligns with Licious’ drive for profitable growth through an omnichannel strategy.

Based in Bengaluru, the company aims to launch over 500 Licious stores across 20 cities in the next five years, with the goal of achieving operating profit by the end of the current financial year (2024-25).


She will play a pivotal role in fostering sustainable growth and profitability, establishing governance frameworks, and implementing key standard operating procedures as Licious enters a pre-IPO phase.

“We plan to open 500 stores over the next five years.

"While it is early to comment on hiring numbers, we will seek individuals with key skills and specialised expertise,” said a company spokesperson.

"These include nuanced hyperlocal understanding, keen insights to identify consumer needs in key catchment areas for new stores, along with a profound understanding of key differentiators and synergies between online and offline landscapes,” the spokesperson added.

A chartered accountant, she brings over 18 years of diverse finance experience to Licious.

Her expertise spans business partnering, supply chain finance, governance, financial planning and analysis, audit, and controllership.

She has held leadership roles in multinational and Indian companies, with a proven track record of revitalising business performance, financial management, and mergers and acquisitions.

Before joining Licious, she spearheaded expansion and turnaround strategies across multiple brands and geographies for Jubilant FoodWorks.

Vivek Gupta and Abhay Hanjura, co-founders of Licious, emphasised that the company is currently in a robust financial position, having achieved nearly a 20 per cent annual revenue run rate increase of $100 million last year.

They highlighted the company’s transition from a loss margin to a gross margin of nearly 30 per cent and an 80 per cent reduction in burn.

“Maintaining financial health, sustainable growth, innovation, and establishing robust financial frameworks are our key priorities as we embark on the next phase of our journey,” said Gupta and Hanjura.

“We believe Karishma’s extensive experience with top listed players in related industries, particularly her retail expertise which aligns with our omnichannel strategy, will be invaluable to us."

Her previous roles include positions at Diageo, GSK Consumer Healthcare, and ITC.

She is among the youngest women CFOs in India, a noteworthy achievement considering that only 50 of the 2,328 National Stock Exchange-listed companies have women in this role.

“Licious is currently at a fascinating inflexion point, wherein we will see a big push towards expansion at a rapid pace,” she said.

“While Licious already has best-in-class finance structures and governance, we will undergo a transformative journey towards the next phase of innovation-led business growth over the next few years.”

Licious serves consumers across over 20 Indian cities, processing 1.2 million orders monthly with over 90 per cent repeat consumption across markets.

The company employs over 6,000 team members across various disciplines and functions.

Funding for expansion

Temasek-backed Licious has about $100 million earmarked for expanding its stores.

The firm plans a pre-IPO funding round sometime in 2026.

With an impressive annual revenue run rate of Rs 850 crore, the company has witnessed a considerable increase in monthly revenue, rising from Rs 60 crore to about Rs 72 crore year-on-year (Y-o-Y).

The platform expects to achieve a revenue run rate of Rs 1,200 crore by March 2025, indicating a monthly revenue run rate of Rs 100 crore.

Of this, Rs 90 crore may come via the app, while the remainder may come from the new retail stores.

The monthly cash burn has reduced to about Rs 12 crore from Rs 26 crore on a Y-o-Y basis.

The firm aims to further reduce this to about Rs 10 crore. Gross margins have improved to 30 per cent, according to sources.

For 2022-23, the company reported a 9 per cent Y-o-Y growth in revenue to Rs 748 crore.

The loss for the year was reduced by about 38 per cent to Rs 529 crore.

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Peerzada Abrar
Source: source

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