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    Tuesday, December 14, 2021

    Flipkart, Walmart Invest $145 Million in Fresh Produce Supply Chain Brand Ninjacart

    Ninjacart, a supply chain company for fresh produce, has raised $145 million from Flipkart and its US-based parent, Walmart Inc, in what the Indian ecommerce firm said was the biggest deal in India’s agritech space.

    This is the third time Flipkart is investing in Ninjacart. It first invested an undisclosed amount in the Bengaluru-based startup in 2019 and then put around $30 million more in it late last year with Walmart.

    The deal would peg Ninjacart’s valuation at $750-800 million compared with $500 million in its previous round and that the funding round could get stretched over to more than $100 million, says source.

    The deal comes at a time when Flipkart has plans to scale its 90-minute online grocery business — Flipkart Quick — to 200 cities by the end of 2022. The Ninjacart investment will also be leveraged by Flipkart to strengthen its wider grocery offering Supermart.

    “With this investment, we are further able to strengthen our grocery footprint and offering as consumers across the country throng to e-grocery for quality and affordable options in the fresh category,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive, Flipkart Group. “Our investment and partnership in Ninjacart over the years is a testament to the continued commitment and success we have seen in our endeavour to create a democratic and organised agriculture market.”

    Founded in 2015, Ninjacart currently operates in seven cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai. The company procures fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and supplies to retailers, hotels, restaurants and even apartment complexes.

    “The funds will enable us to dream beyond organising the farmer-to-retailer ecosystem to a much larger goal of organising the complete agri ecosystem and enabling transparent commerce,” said Thirukumaran Nagarajan, cofounder and CEO, Ninjacart.

    Flipkart is scaling its grocery business at a time when it faces competition from the likes of Reliance Industries' JioMart, Amazon India, Tata-owned BigBasket besides quick commerce players like Swiggy’s Instamart, Dunzo Daily and new entrant Zepto.

    Flipkart said it offers grocery in 1,800 cities and towns and plans to take it to around 2,000 more towns by the middle of next year.

    The company said fresh fruits and vegetables will be an integral part of the expansion, with it investing in technology capabilities to offer better services to users. Flipkart said it is also working to bring efficiencies in the community e-grocery shopping model.

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