NinjaCart, a marketing and delivery platform for agricultural produce, has raised $35 million ( Rs 250 crore) in a Series B funding round led by Accel Partners (US) and Switzerland-based Syngeta Ventures, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
New investors, including South Korean private equity firm Neoplux, founder of ZiGeXn Jo Hirao, Russian firm HR Capital and venture debt firm Trifecta Capital joined the new investment round.
NinjaCart’s existing investors Accel India, Nandan Nilekani NRJN Trust, Misteltoe and Qualcomm Venture also participated in the round.
Mint first reported in October that NinjaCart was in advanced talks to raise $20-25 million from Accel Partners and two new investors.
To date, the Bengaluru-based company has raised over $49 million.
NinjaCart, run by Bengaluru-based 63Ideas Infolabs Pvt. Ltd, plans to utilise the capital to expand operations to 10 cities, open over 200 distribution centres across the country and invest in better supply chain infrastructure. The agri-tech startup currently operates in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.
“We are preparing for our launch in Mumbai and Delhi (by early next year). We are hiring teams and building out facilities,” said Vasudevan Chinnathambi, co-founder at NinjaCart in a telephonic interview.
Founded in 2015, NinjaCart is a platform that connects farmers to end retailers such as grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants that buy fruits and vegetables. It runs a logistics network that enables swift pick-up and drop of farm produce.
The company’s low-cost sourcing and delivery operations handle more than 60 tonnes of produce every day. It claims to help farmers realize 15-20% more revenue than the existing market.
Launched by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Ashutosh Vikram, Kartheeswaran K.K., Sachin Jose and Sharath Loganathan, NinjaCart started as an on-demand grocery delivery service and later pivoted to a business-to-business agri-marketing platform.
NinjaCart piloted a business-to-consumer outlet model (franchised and owned) earlier this year, but now plans to focus on a acquiring new markets, Chinnathambi said.
“With the current round of financing we expect them (NinjaCart) to continue to grow rapidly, enter new cities and enable direct relationships with farmers and shop owners across even more categories,” according to Subrata Mitra, partner at Accel India.
NinjaCart currently has a sourcing network of more than 3000 farmers across south India and moves fresh produce from farm to 4,000 retailers every day. The startup is targetting a network of nearly 10,000 retailers by March next year.
“We are committed to supporting innovation that improves the livelihood and economic security of farmers across the globe,” said Shubhang Shankar, investment manager at Syngeta Ventures.
NinjaCart competes with other agriculture-focused startups, including Gurugram-based CroFarm and IvyCap Ventures-backed Reuters Market Light, among others.
This article was first published on livemint.com