Walmart Inc.-owned online retailer Flipkart has bought a minority stake in logistics startup Shadowfax, as it looks to step up its grocery and fresh-produce delivery operations to challenge rivals such as Amazon and BigBasket.
The investment is part of Shadowfox's $60 million (Rs 428.5 crore) Series D funding round, the startup said in a statement. It didn’t disclose the amount Flipkart invested.
Other investors who participated in the funding round include Eight Roads Ventures, US-based investment firm NGP Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Mirae Asset Naver Fund.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, also pooled in capital.
The startup, which was founded by Abhishek Bansal and Vaibhav Khandelwal in 2015, will use the funds to improve its technology, recruit and increase the number of shipments to more than 100 million a month.
Shadowfax, which has more than 100,000 registered partners, said that it is currently enabling the delivery of 10 million monthly shipments across various ranging from hot food to grocery to fashion, electronics, and other e-commerce items.
The startup had raised $22 million in Series C funding in August last year. The round was led by NGP Capital and saw participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Mirae Asset, and existing investor Eight Roads Ventures.
Flipkart already had a partnership with Shadowfax to fulfill logistics requirements across various categories in its e-commerce business. With this investment, the online retailer will be able to further unlock the opportunities in grocery and fresh produce.
Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive officer at Flipkart, said Shadowfax’s investments in tech-enabled innovations will help the firm significantly reduce delivery time and provide superior customer experiences across product categories.
Flipkart has earlier backed the trucking platform BlackBuck and locker provider QikPod in the logistics segment.
The logistics space witnessed a spurt of investor action this year.
Logistics unicorn Delhivery received $115 million from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).
In August, VCCircle reported US-based investment firm Tiger Global Management led an early-stage round of funding in a logistics marketplace.
Locus and Ezyhaul also raised big-ticket Series B funding round this year.
Earlier this month, Holisol Logistics Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 20 crore in asset financing from the Mumbai-based non-banking financial company BlackSoil Capital Pvt. Ltd.