Walmart and Flipkart invest $30M in Indian e-commerce platform27 Oct 2020
The U.S. retail giant Walmart and India’s grocery e-commerce company Flipkart (which is majority-owned by Walmart) invested for the second time this year in the Indian delivery startup Ninjacart. Although the companies did not disclose their financial commitment, The Economic Times reported that sources familiar with the deal cited a $30 million ballpark figure for the cash infusion.
Funding will be used to more closely forge a partnership between the companies and expand Ninjacart’s customer offerings and experience. The startup said it will work toward expanding its supply chains through enhanced, tech-driven efficiency, reliability, and profitability. It also plans to cater to emerging consumer segments.
Ninjacart is a delivery platform for restaurants, retailers and kiranas (small local shops) that are looking for fresh, local produce deliveries. The startup’s approach allows for competitive costs for both farmers and buyers due to its innovative analysis of demand and delivery networks that has enabled the creation of 12-hour delivery windows for most orders, thereby eliminating the need for complex and expensive cold chain infrastructure.
One of Ninjacart’s newest initiatives rolled out as a result of the pandemic, which has dramatically increased the popularity of e-commerce grocery in India, is the e-commerce startup's expansion of its delivery to apartments and housing societies. Additionally, in April, the ‘Harvest the Farm‘ initiative came online where Ninjacart buys excess produce from farmers at a nominal price and then delivers it absorbing “supply chain costs.”
Ninjacart also recently launched FoodPrint, a platform that allows traceability of all products on its platform to improve safety. This new program works by using an RFID process that tags produce at the point of harvest and tracks it to its final destination in order to provide buyers with a ‘farm-to-shelf’ traceability system.
Both Walmart and Flipkart previously invested in this startup in December last year to the tune of $10 million. Now with a $50 million commitment between the two large corporations, it does not appear that their interest in this startup will slow any time soon. “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,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO at Flipkart Group in a statement.
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