Zynga cofounder Mark Pincus has made his debut in the Indian startup ecosystem with an investment in online fish and meat retailer Freshtohome, says the Times of India. What’s interesting to note is that this Indian startup has many former Zynga employees working for it.
Many former Zynga executives involved
Shan Kadavil, the game maker’s former India country head, cofounded Freshtohome, which is based on seatohome.com, another India-based startup founded by entrepreneur Mathew Joseph. Freshtohome revived seatohome.com into a chemical-free food produce startup sourcing fresh fish and meat directly from over 1,000 fishermen and farmer cooperatives.
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To start the venture, Kadavil roped in four of his former Zynga colleagues. Since its launch in August 2015, the startup has delivered food to over 20,000 customers. It delivers 3 tons of produce on a daily basis. Freshtohome aims to deliver chemical-free fresh fish to customers, bypassing middlemen and removing inefficiencies in the supply chain by using the company’s tech platform, states Kadavil.
“The size of India’s fish market is over $50 billion or 1% of the GDP. And 65% of the catch was exported ten years back. With higher incomes and rising domestic consumption, 90% of the produce is consumed domestically today,” Kadavil said.
The startup has raised funds from many other angel investors like Walter Kortschak (founder of early-stage VC fund Kortschak Investments, which has invested in data analytics company Palantir); Peter Briger (co-chairman of New York-based investment management firm Fortress Investment Group); Timothy Flaherty (cofounder of Silver Creek Capital Management); Cadir Lee (former Zynga CTO); Rajan Anandan (Google India MD); Pavan Ongole (former Softbank U.S. director); and Alex Garden (former Zynga Studios president).
Big hopes from new Zynga CEO
Meanwhile Zynga’s new CEO, Frank Gibeau, has received a warm welcome from investors owing to his successful career of 20 years at Electronics Arts. Gibeau will target specific gaming markets while capping costs. Zynga has seen success with some games that have been highly popular, and many of them have even become cultural phenomena.
For example, two of its games – FarmVille and Mafia Wars — have placed among the best-known and most-played games in the world. However, it is not possible for the game maker to grow on the success it received in the past. It is time for it to get new life, and it is believed that Gibeau is the person to put it on the path to recovery.