Online grocer BigBasket, run by SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd, has acquired subscription-based e-grocery startup RainCan as it looks to strengthen its micro-delivery operations.
BigBasket has rebranded the RainCan app as BBdaily and will launch a subscription-based service enabling early morning delivery of household essentials including milk, bread, fruits and vegetables, baby diapers and staples. Users need to add the items before 10.30 pm the previous night and the delivery will be done between 5 am and 7.30 am. BBdaily also promises to pay back 10% of the order value for late deliveries.
Confirming the deal, RainCan co-founder Kumar told TechCircle that it’s a 100% acquisition where all of its investors have exited. “We have informed our customers about the acquisition. We will continue with our micro-delivery operations. Now, as a part of BigBasket, we will go multi-city to expand our operations pan-India,” he added.
He, however, declined to divulge the financial details of the deal.
Founded in 2015 by IIT Bombay alumni Abhijeet Kumar and Munendra Singh, RainCan allowed its registered subscribers to choose from an array of product categories, including dairy, bakery, perishables and staples. Operating in Pune, the company employed a large team to source products from its distributor network and meet the three-hour door-step delivery deadline, starting at six in the morning.
Owned and operated by Bloomskart Retail Pvt. Ltd, RainCan had raised close to $1 million from a slew of angel investors including Prabodh Agarwal, the chief financial officer of IIFL Holdings Ltd Group, Aniruddha Malpani, Ajeet Khurana and Nikunj Shah.
The development was first reported by news portal Entrackr.
The micro-delivery space has witnessed an increased rush of investor traction of late. BigBasket has long been working on a subscription-based offering to improve customer stickiness for its core grocery delivery business.
The Bengaluru-based company is barely $50 million away from becoming a unicorn after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba led a $300-million funding round into the firm in February 2018.
According to a recent media report, BigBasket and its main rival Grofers have revived talks for a merger as their investors look to join forces against Amazon and Flipkart. The Mint newspaper said that if the deal goes through, Alibaba could invest $250 million in the combined entity while SoftBank could also put some capital.
Deals in the space
Meanwhile, a number of startups have mushroomed in various cities attempting to build a subscription business to deliver milk, bread and eggs.
Hyperlocal delivery startup DailyNinja, which runs a grocery and milk delivery service, recently acquired Hyderabad-based WakeupBasket in a cash-and-equity deal. Like DailyNinja, WakeupBasket delivers household essentials in the morning and also sells milk and groceries on its platform. DailyNinja had raised $1.5 million from Sequoia Capital in December last year.
In January, Gurugram-based micro-delivery grocery startup Milkbasket raised $3 million (around Rs 19 crore) in funding from Unilever Ventures, the investment arm of consumer goods giant Unilever.
Besides such startups, US-based e-commerce giant Amazon also offers online delivery of groceries and daily essentials through its app Amazon Now. Last year in November, homegrown e-commerce major Flipkart announced a soft launch of its grocery delivery service under ‘Supermart’.