Alibaba-backed BigBasket reports jump in FY19 cash burn; widens losses nearly two-fold

Alibaba-backed BigBasket reports jump in FY19 cash burn; widens losses nearly two-fold
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
4 Dec, 2019

Supermarket Grocery Supplies, the Bengaluru-headquartered company that owns online grocery platform BigBasket, widened its losses nearly two-fold to Rs 562.7 crore in the financial year ended March 31, from Rs 310.3 crore a year earlier, as it continued to bear burgeoning expenses in advertising and promotions among other expenses.

Advertising and promotional expenses increased to Rs 188.9 crore. This was a subcategory under ‘other expenses’ which ballooned by 60% to Rs 492.4 crore, the Alibaba-backed company’s regulatory filings showed. Revenues grew 75% to Rs 1605.7 crore.

While SuperMarket Grocery Supplies is the wholesale products supplier, Innovative Retail Concepts runs the consumer-facing arm of BigBasket property, under licence from SuperMarket Grocery Supplies.

Direct sourcing from farmers is a part of BigBasket's business model. The company had earlier said it aimed to work directly with 3,000 farmers. It also has over eight million customers.

Costs associated with the purchase of stock in trade, expenses that refer to raw material purchased to make goods for sale, notably increased by 79% to Rs 2639.1 crore. Total expenses stood at Rs 33365.3 crore, a 76% year-over-year increase.

Watch: Hari Menon in making BigBasket a consumer staple

BigBasket had raised $14.6 million venture debt from Trifecta Capital in July.

The funds were allocated towards meeting the working capital and capex requirements of the company, including setting up new warehouses, strengthening the cold chain, setting up facilities for reprocessing of fruits and vegetables and for scaling-up its supply chain for the recently launched milk subscription business — BB Daily and its specialty vending machine business — BB Instant.

In March, the company had raised $150 million in a funding round led by South Korean firm Mirae Asset. The UK government’s development finance institution CDC Group and existing investor Alibaba Group also participated in the round. TechCircle estimates had then suggested that the investment would increase the Bengaluru-based company’s post-money valuation to $2-2.3 billion.

SuperMarket Grocery Supplies had achieved unicorn status in February last year when it raised $300 million in its Series E round of funding led by Alibaba.