Bennett Coleman bets on the online grocery biz with $20 mn investment in Grofers

Bennett Coleman bets on the online grocery biz with $20 mn investment in Grofers
Photo Credit: Pixabay
18 Nov, 2019

Grocery etailer Grofers has raised $20 million in a funding round from Mumbai headquartered media conglomerate Bennett Coleman & Co via a warrant issue, its latest regulatory filings show. 

Separately, the company has received $44.8 million from its Singapore-based parent entity Grofers International through an equity share issue on rights basis.

The securities were allotted to the investors on October 23 and October 24, according to the filings.

The warrant issue to the Times Group will be converted to equity shares, on the exercise of rights by the investor.

In May this year, Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group Corp led a $200 million growth round in the Gurugram-based Grofers along with returning investors Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital India, and new investor, Korean investment firm KTB Investments. The was also reported to have raised $10 million in an additional round from UAE-based Abu Dhabi Capital Group.

A year prior to the $200 million funding round, Grofers raised $62 million from Softbank, Tiger Global and Yuri Milner’s Apoletto Managers.

Grofers, which was founded in 2013 by Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa, delivers groceries, pet supplies and electronic products. In July, it also started operations in the milk segment through the launch of its G-Fresh milk brand.

However, in 2016, the company had to scale back operations in nine cities, lay off employees and tweak its business model after it faced losses on account of rapid expansion. As on July 2019, it had operations in 13 cities.

In early 2019, consulting firm Redseer said that although there was a lot of room for new players in the online grocery segment, Grofers and BigBasket accounted for nearly 75% of the market.

Grofers competes with players such as Alibaba-backed BigBasket, Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart. In October this year, Flipkart entered the retail food segment through the launch of its new arm Flipkart FarmmerMart, which will cater packaged food products through its online and physical outlets.     

BigBasket in May raised $150 million in a fresh funding round from South Korean Mirae Asset Management, the UK government’s development finance arm CDC Group and China-based Alibaba.

In July, micro-delivery platform Milkbasket acquired Bengaluru-based PSR Supply Chain for an undisclosed amount and raised $10.4 million in a funding round led by Unilever Ventures..