India: Online grocer BigBasket in talks with Temasek for $100m fundraise

Photo: Reuters

Bengaluru-based BigBasket is in talks to raise up to $100 million in a fresh funding round led by Singapore’s state investment arm Temasek Holdings to fight new competitors, including JioMart, in the online grocery segment.

According to a report in Entrackr, the talks between the two have been on for the past few weeks, and Temasek could alone inject about $50-70 million in the proposed financing. Other investors including Mirae Asset and CDC Group are, too, expected to join.

According to a Mint report in May, BigBasket was planning to raise around $150-200 million as the coronavirus outbreak and extensive lockdown had boosted online grocery sales in the country. The company had also appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to help with the fundraise.

But, the dynamics of the market are expected to change with the entry of Reliance Industries-owned JioMart in the space. It would entail existing players, including BigBasket, Amazon, and Grofers, to spend more on beefing up operations. JioMart has been scaling orders in the middle of the pandemic and has made deliveries free for all.

BigBasket had raised $50 million debt funding from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd this April. The same month, the company had raised $60 million as a part of a new bridge round from existing investors Alibaba, South Korea’s Mirae Asset and UK-development finance institution CDC Group.

Chinese investors are currently having a tough time investing in India with the new foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in place, which makes it mandatory for all Chinese investors to seek government approval before investing in Indian firms. As a result, Chinese investors-backed Indian startups have started to scout for new investors.

BigBasket had attained the unicorn status after it closed a $150-million funding round led by Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, Alibaba, and CDC Group in May last year. Last July, it had also secured Rs 100 crore in debt funding from Trifecta Capital.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.