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Unilever Ventures, other VC investors pump more money into Milkbasket
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Gurugram-based micro-delivery grocery startup Milkbasket has raised nearly Rs 73 crore ($10.5 million) in a fresh round of funding led by existing investor Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of consumer goods giant Unilever Plc.

Other financial backers including Mayfield India, Kalaari Capital and Blume Ventures also participated in this round, Milkbasket said in a statement.

Milkbasket, operated by Aaidea Solutions Pvt. Ltd, said it will use the funding for geographical expansion, hiring professionals, and research and development.

The startup was founded in 2015 by Anant Goel, Ashish Goel, Anurag Jain and Yatish Talvadia. Unlike BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon and Flipkart -- the big players in the online grocery delivery market -- Milkbasket positions itself as the online version of local mom-and-pop grocery stores, only with more stock-keeping units.

Milkbasket currently has operations in Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad and Bengaluru. It aims to become the default mom-and-pop shop for over a million households by 2021. It is said to have over 8,500 stock keeping units.

In April, it raisedĀ funding from BAC Acquisitions, the personal investment vehicle of Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal.

In December last year, it raisedĀ $7 million in an extended Series A round led by US-based early- to growth-stage venture capital firm Mayfield. This was preceded by a $7 million Series A investment led by early-stage investment firm Kalaari Capital in May last year.

Unilever Ventures backs early-stage companies, accelerating their growth by providing access to Unilever's global ecosystem, assets and expertise. It looks to invest in personal care companies and those that use digital transformation technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, e-commerce and internet of things.

In December, Unilever Ventures invested in Mumbai-based Shop101, a mobile storefront and commerce platform for sellers; and also in skincare brand Plum.

In 2017, the investment firm backed software-as-a-service startup Peel-Works and came as a Limited Partner in a fund of venture capital firm IDG Ventures India.

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