Innovative Retail Concepts Pvt Ltd, which operates the consumer-facing arm of grocery e-tailer BigBasket, saw its revenues rise two-fold and kept its losses in check for the financial year 2017, filings with the Registrar of Companies show.
Net sales stood at Rs 1,090.49 crore, up from Rs 527.46 crore, and gross expenses rose four-fold to Rs 1,282.36 crore, up from Rs 630.97 crore in the previous financial year, the filings revealed.
Stock-in-trade purchases accounted for the bulk of the expenses at Rs 977.52 crore, a two-fold rise from the previous year at Rs 480.03 crore. Employee expenses also rose to Rs 104.22 crore, up from Rs 46.32 crore in the previous year.
The company, however, managed to contain the rise in losses, which were pegged at Rs 191.80 crore, up from Rs 103.41 crore the previous year.
SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt Ltd, the other entity associated with BigBasket, is a wholesale products supplier to the e-tailer and owns the brand. Innovative Retail Concepts runs the BigBasket property under licence from SuperMarket Grocery.
While Supermarket Grocery is yet to file its financials, the consolidated revenues of BigBasket are expected to be somewhere around Rs 1,400 crore for 2016-17, people in the know told VCCircle.
Hari Menon, chief executive of Big Basket, declined to comment on the financials.
“We have a few important announcements in the offing and will comment on our financials at an appropriate time,” he said.
BigBasket is soon expected to announce its next round of funding, which will see a significant investment from Chinese Internet behemoth Alibaba. Various media reports have pegged the estimated value of the funds to be between $200 million and $300 million. Earlier this month, VCCircle had reported that the Competition Commission of Indian had given the go-ahead for Alibaba’s acquisition of a stake in BigBasket.
In September, VCCircle reported that Alibaba and Paytm were set to invest about $200 million (Rs 1,277 crore) in SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd-owned BigBasket. However, the total deal size and participating investors, besides Alibaba, has been a subject of speculation.
At the same time, news website The Ken had reported that BigBasket had secured $280 million in a Series E round from existing investors Sands Capital and Dubai-based Abraaj Group, besides new investors Paytm Mall and Alibaba Group. However, earlier this month, The Economic Times had reported, citing anonymous people in the know, that Alibaba was set to put in $300 million for a 35-40% stake in BigBasket, translating into a post-money valuation of $850 million.
Alibaba’s investment will give BigBasket the much-needed firepower to fight Amazon. The Seattle-based e-tailing giant recently got regulatory approval to set up a retail unit in the country to sell private food labels. Amazon has committed $500 million over the next two-three years towards this food retail unit.
However, BigBasket might face another formidable foe in Flipkart, which announced its second innings in the segment through a soft launch of its grocery delivery service Supermart last month.