Anant Goel, who is co-founder and CEO of micro delivery company Milkbasket, has stepped down from the board of the company along with two of its investors even as two senior executives of Reliance Industries have been appointed to the board of directors.
Apart from Goel, Pawan Chaturvedi, partner at Unilever Ventures; Vani Kola, managing director of Kalaari Capital and Nikhil Khattau, managing director of Mayfield Fund have also resigned from the board, regulatory filings show.
Nikhil Chakrapani from Jio and Rajendra Kamath, CFO, Reliance Retail joined the board, indicating that Reliance’s JioMart has completed the acquisition of Gurugram-based startup, though neither of the companies have made an official announcement regarding the matter.
Separate emails sent to Milkbasket, Goel, Chakrapani, Kamath and Vali did not elicit an immediate response.
Launched in May 2020, Reliance Industries-owned online grocery service JioMart is now present in 218 cities.
TechCircle had exclusively reported in July 2020 that Reliance was closing in on the acquisition of Milkbasket as part of its push into online grocery delivery services.
According to filings, Chakrapani is an additional director at both Jio Limited and Jio Infrastructure Management Services Limited, a director at Tresara Health Private Limited (a subsidiary of Netmeds) and CFO at Reliance Content Distribution Limited.
Kamath is a director at Reliance Progressive Traders Private Limited, Reliance Eminent Trading & Commercial Private Limited, Reliance Comtrade Private Limited and Reliance Retail Insurance Broking Limited.
Milkbasket has had to face a legal battle with Mahendra Nahata-led MN Televentures, which invested in the company through a buyout of venture firm Kalaari Capital in 2020.
In December 2020, MN Televentures had filed an appeal against Milkbasket in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for refusing to acknowledge the transaction.
Milkbasket's board had opposed the stake sale by Kalaari to MN Televentures. The deal apparently threw a spanner into Milkbasket's plans of getting acquired with investors reportedly backing out as MN Televentures’ Nahata is a director on the board of Reliance Jio Infocomm, a potential conflict for them.
To be sure, Reliance and Bigbasket were reportedly in separate talks to buy Milkbasket but nothing worked out due to valuation issues.
Milkbasket, which is operated by Aaidea Solutions Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2015 by Anant Goel, Ashish Goel, Anurag Jain and Yatish Talvadia. With a full-stack supply chain from sourcing to last-mile delivery, it offered products across fruits, vegetables, dairy, bakery and other fast-moving consumer goods categories to users in Gurugram, Noida, Dwarka, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Milkbasket’s last fundraising was in May last year when it 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.