Walmart, Flipkart inject second round of capital in Ninjacart within a year

Walmart, Flipkart inject second round of capital in Ninjacart within a year
Photo Credit: Reuters
12 Oct, 2020

Ecommerce major Flipkart and its retailer parent Walmart on Monday said that the two have made another investment in Tiger Global backed fresh produce supply chain startup Ninjacart.

The infusion comes about a year after Flipkart and Walmart made their first investment in the company.

The investment round is set to close by October end, as per the statement. The December 2019 round totalled an investment of $10.10 million, according to VCCEdge data.

Flipkart declined to comment on specifics of the current deal, including on the existence of any synergies that its business shares with that of Ninjacart and amount of capital infused. 

Bengaluru-headquartered Ninjacart will use the additional investment to expand to new markets, improve its offerings and enhance customer experience, said a joint statement from Walmart and Flipkart.

Primarily a B2B company, Accel backed Ninjacart began delivery of essential supplies to apartment complexes during the Covid-19 lockdown. It also launched ‘Harvest The Farms’ to connect farmers to direct consumers.

The startup, with its other investors ranging from Steadview Capital, Trifecta Venture Debt, Qualcomm Ventures to Nandan Nilekani, uses data science capabilities to build its last-mile network. 

“It’s less-than-12 hours connectivity from farm to store helps avoid the need for control temperature supply chain for perishable goods,” the statement said.

Ninjacart had also launched a traceability platform for its products during the Covid-19 lockdown with an aim to improve the food safety.

“As Flipkart grows its Supermart (grocery) and Flipkart Quick (hyperlocal business), Ninjacart will continue to play a key role in providing fresh produce to consumers across the country as they increasingly look at e-grocery to meet their needs,” the statement added.

“Our pilots and current business engagement with Ninjacart have been encouraging as we leverage technology to address changing consumer behaviour across the country,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said in the joint statement.

Launched in 2015, the co-founding team of Kartheeswaran KK, Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Ashutosh Vikram, Sachin P J, and Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Ninjacart provides fresh vegetables and fruits procured directly from farmers and delivers to retail shops and restaurants.