As part of its push into online grocery delivery services, Reliance Industries (RIL) backed JioMart is acquiring Gurugram headquartered micro delivery company Milkbasket, two people privy to the development told TechCircle.
The details of the transaction were not immediately available. However, the acquisition comes after close to three months of negotiation between the two parties, both the people cited above said, requesting anonymity.
“Jio has not announced the acquisition of (online medicine delivery company) Netmeds or Milkbasket yet as the market’s reaction to its past acquisitions has not been very positive,” said one of the persons, an executive at one of the companies involved in the transaction.
RIL did not respond to specific queries from TechCircle at the time of publishing this article.
Responding to email queries from TechCircle, Milkbasket CEO Anant Goel said, “Multiple media outlets have reported fake news on Milkbasket's acquisition in the past few months! This is quite upsetting and also has a highly negative impact on our reputation in the ecosystem. Milkbasket does not verify the news shared by you and would request discretion… to not publish/spread unverified speculations.”
The acquisition of MilkBasket will strengthen JioMart’s play in the Delhi National Capital Region.
RIL’s potential acquisition of Netmeds was previously reported by Times of India in May and the Mukesh Ambani led company has since completed the integration of the e-pharmacy chain on its offline-to-online business platform, according to the people cited earlier.
In May, Milkbasket had raised $5.5 million in a Series B round from new investor Inflection Point Ventures and from returning investors Kalaari capital, Mayfield India, Blume Ventures Opportunity Fund, Unilever Ventures and Beenext. The company also said that it was now EBITDA positive. The company started with early morning milk delivery services but added grocery, staples and fresh produce deliveries which contribute to 70% of its current revenues.
Previous media reports said that Milkbasket was in talks with online grocery major BigBasket and ecommerce company, Amazon India for a potential acquisition. It was earlier reported in 2019 that the company was looking to raise $50 million as part of its Series B round.
The company was founded in 2015 by Goel, Ashish Goel, Anurag Jain and Yatish Talvadia and has a presence in Gurugram, Noida, Dwarka, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
JioMart launched its services across 200 towns in the last week of May and supplies fresh produce, staples, grocery, personal care home care and baby care products through its app. JioMart also has an integration with WhatsApp to let consumers order from neighbouring kirana stores in select regions of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan as part of its online to offline business model. WhatsApp parent Facebook also holds 9.99% in Jio Platforms through a $5.7 bn investment in the entity made in April.
RIL has thus far raised close to $16 billion across 12 rounds of investment since April from technology firms and private equity players towards the Jio Platforms.