Bangalore-based 63Ideas Infolabs Pvt Ltd, which runs B2B agri-marketing platform Ninjacart, has raised Rs 37 crore ($5.5 million) in a round led by Accel Partners and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s NRJN Trust, Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and chief executive of the startup told VCCircle.
Japanese investor Mistletoe, Qualcomm Ventures and M&S Partners also participated in the round.
Ninjacart will primarily use the funds to expand its team and invest in supply chain automation, technology and data science, it said in a statement.
Ninjacart helps farmers sell vegetables and fruits to retailers and restaurants in Bangalore. The startup picks up the produce from the farmer’s fields and delivers it to the doorstep of businesses. It started in 2015 as an on-demand grocery delivery company but pivoted to the current business-to-business model. It has close to 170 employees now.
“Though we have very high demand for our service from both farmers and businesses, in the last one year, we relentlessly focused on building a cost-efficient, reliable and scalable supply chain that can handle over 300 tonnes a day. We overhauled our entire organisation and systems keeping cost and speed at the centre. Today, we move over 60 tonnes of produce a day from farm to store in less than 14 hours at a cost lower than traditional supply chains,” Nagarajan said.
Ninjacart also ensures farmers are paid immediately without any commission or logistics fee.
The founding team includes Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sachin P Jose, and Vasudevan Chinnathambi. They have worked with companies such as Commonfloor, Olacabs, HT Media, Verizon Labs, Taxiforsure, and others.
Nagarajan, an Indian Institute of Management-Kozhikode alumnus, had previously launched two startups—Shout App, a location-based social network and EduRaft, an education information platform based out of Chennai.
In March last year, Ninjacart had raised $3 million in Series A funding.
Mistletoe was founded in 2013 by Taizo Son, Japanese serial entrepreneur and investor, who is also the youngest brother of SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son.
M&S Partners provides advisory services for finance, initial public offering, merger and acquisition, operations, marketing, business development and global business expansion. Its founder and chief executive Hiro Mashita advises newly set-up and growth-stage companies in Japan, China, Singapore and other Asian countries. Mashita was previously CEO of Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Hikari Tsushin Inc.
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