Ninjacart, a business-to-business marketplace for agricultural produce, said on Monday it has raised $145 million (Rs 1,095 crore) in a fresh round of funding from existing investor, US retail giant Walmart Inc, and its Indian e-commerce arm Flipkart.
Ninjacart will utilise this capital for technology upgradation and better infrastructure to organize, empower and enhance the lives of millions of agri-value chain participants including farmers, resellers, retailers, consumers, and supply chain participants, the company said in a statement.
“India is at a cusp of formalizing the agriculture industry, with the advent to better road connectivity, GST, seamless payments, digital infrastructure, etc. This opens up a tremendous opportunity to organize our agri ecosystem landscape like never before,” Thirukumaran Nagarajan, CEO at Ninjacart, said.
Ninjacart, operated by 63Ideas Infolabs Pvt Ltd, was founded in 2015. It began as a hyperlocal grocery delivery company and then shifted to a business-to-business setup. Farmers can sell vegetables and fruit directly to business establishments such as shops, retailers and restaurants via the startup’s platform.
Ninjacart says it works closely with the farmers and has till date helped over 1,00,000 farmers across 150 villages to generate better revenue. “With this investment, we are further able to strengthen our grocery footprint and offering as consumers across the country throng to e-grocery for quality and affordable options in the fresh category,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO at Flipkart Group.
Flipkart offers grocery in 1800 cities and towns and aims to take its offering to 2,000 more towns by mid-next year. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be an integral part of the expansion, with the company investing in technology capabilities to ensure the highest and most stringent quality checks for the end consumer.
The company has intensified its focus on partnering with Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to provide access to high-quality fresh produce, staples, pulses, and spices, bringing new revenue opportunities to farmer communities across the country.
Earlier this year, Ninjacart inked a deal with the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare to strengthen the market linkages and promote best practices in the farming sector.
In 2019 December, the company raised funding from Walmart and its Indian e-commerce arm Flipkart. They did a follow-on round of funding in October last year. It also secured $90 million from US-based investment firm Tiger Global Management in April 2018.
Its other investors include venture capital firms Accel, US-based Qualcomm Ventures, Russia’s HR Capital, Japanese venture capital firm-cum-accelerator Mistletoe, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s NRJN Trust and South Korea-based Neoplux, the venture arm of Doosan Corp.
A number of agri-tech startups have attracted funding off late. VCCircle reported last month that WayCool Foods & Products is in advanced stage of discussions with several impact funds and development finance institutions (DFIs) to raise up to $120 million (Rs 900 crore) as part of its Series D round. Some of the other transactions in the space this year include Jai Kisan, AgNext and Animall.