India: Walmart, Flipkart invest in fresh produce supply startup Ninjacart

Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

US-based retailer Walmart Inc. and Flipkart Group have made an additional investment in Bengaluru-based fresh produce supply startup Ninjacart, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday.

According to a person familiar with the development, Walmart and Flipkart have invested around $30 million in Ninjacart. Both the companies first funded Ninjacart in December 2019.

The latest investment will ensure access to good quality fresh produce for consumers and retailers, the statement said.

The investment comes at a time when the e-grocery market in India has seen huge traction as the pandemic pushed customers to go digital.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group said the e-grocery market has seen tremendous growth over the past several months as people have increasingly taken to ordering groceries and fresh produce online.

“At the Flipkart Group, we are focused on ensuring that we continue to work towards developing new and innovative ways to meet our customers’ needs in this space through the growth of Supermart and the recent launch of Flipkart Quick,” Krishnamurthy said in a statement. “We will continue to make investments to offer the best produce to our customers and support livelihoods and sustainable growth for local farmers, producers and the supply chain ecosystem.”

Flipkart has been leveraging Ninjacart’s fresh produce supply chain, and strengthening its direct sourcing for Supermart, its online grocery service as well as its hyperlocal delivery service Flipkart Quick.

Flipkart’s rival Amazon India has ramped its fresh produce offering, and had launched Amazon Fresh in January. Reliance Industries Ltd’s JioMart has only further heated up the competition in the online grocery market.

“The fresh set of investments from Walmart and the Flipkart Group takes us one step closer to our vision of making food safe and accessible for the billion people and changing the way food reaches our plate. We will continue to invest in areas that impact the lives of customers and farmers positively,” said Thirukumaran Nagarajan, CEO and co-founder, Ninjacart.

Five-year old Ninjacart had raised $90 million from American investor Tiger Global in early 2019 and has been ramping up its business which follows a farm to doorstep model.

The total size of the e-grocery market in the country is expected to grow from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $3 billion by year-end, according to a September report by consulting firm RedSeer and online grocery firm BigBasket.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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

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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.