Tiger Global invests $89.5m in Indian agri-tech startup NinjaCart

Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

Storied American venture investor Tiger Global has invested $89.5 million in agri-tech startup NinjaCart, show regulatory filings accessed from registrar of companies (RoC) by paper.vc. NinjaCart is a marketing and delivery platform for agricultural produce.

The Economic Times was the first to report the development on Wednesday morning, citing the filings accessed by paper.vc. The newspaper reported that Tiger Global has picked up a 26.5% stake, valuing the company at close to $320 million.

Interestingly, this investment also marks one of the largest first cheques written by the investor in an Indian start-up. According to data compiled by paper.vc, Tiger’s previous large initial investments were in startups such as Ola ($57.5 million), Delhivery ($43.6 million) and Hike ($43.2 million).

While being one of the largest first cheques written by Tiger in India, the deal could also be indicative of Tiger’s new approach to the Indian start-up ecosystem post the departure of Lee Fixel, who was credited for backing startups such as Flipkart and putting the Indian start-up ecosystem on the global map.

Fixel left Tiger Global, where he was heading a $13 billion venture investment unit, in March. The firm had announced that co-founder Scott Shleifer will take over as head of the unit.

The Tiger investment in NinjaCart follows the start-up’s $35 million fund-raising in December which saw participation from investors such as Accel (US) and Switzerland’s Syngeta Ventures. New investors, including South Korean private equity firm Neoplux, founder of ZiGeXn Jo Hirao, Russian firm HR Capital and venture debt firm Trifecta Capital, also participated in the round. NinjaCart’s existing investors Accel India, Nandan Nilekani NRJN Trust, Misteltoe and Qualcomm Venture also contributed.

Founded in 2015, NinjaCart connects farmers to end retailers such as grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants, which buy fruits and vegetables. It runs a logistics network enabling swift pick-up and drop of farm produce.

The agri-tech start-up is currently operational in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Started by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Ashutosh Vikram, Kartheeswaran K.K., Sachin Jose and Sharath Loganathan, NinjaCart started as an on-demand grocery delivery service, before pivoting to a business-to-business agri-marketing platform.

This article was first published on livemint.com