Venture debt provider Trifecta Capital invests $7 mn in BigBasket
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The country’s top online grocer, BigBasket, has raised $7 million (Rs 45 crore) from venture debt provider Trifecta Capital.

SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd., which owns and operates BigBasket, will use the funds to set up new warehouses, strengthen its cold chain and establish facilities to reprocess fruits and vegetables, the company said in a statement.

“We have a clearly identified use case for debt. We are in the last leg of a pilot which will ensure that all fruits and vegetables are maintained at constant temperature and thereby improve the shelf life of the produce by almost 10 days. This will be done using large-scale equipment such as pre-coolers and ventilators. Funding such capex requirements is best done through debt.” Hari Menon, co-founder of BigBasket said.

Founded in 2011, BigBasket is headquartered in Bangalore and currently operates in 25 cities across the country. The company sells about 18,000 products and houses 1,000 brands including fruits, vegetables, meat, beverages and personal care products.

With this investment, BigBasket has raised around $255 million so far from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Helion Ventures, Ascent Capital, Abraaj Capital, International Finance Corporation and Sands Capital. In its last round, the company had raised $150 million (about Rs 1,000 crore) led by the UAE-based private equity investor Abraaj Group.

BigBasket registered an over-three-fold increase in revenue to Rs 563 crore for the financial year ended March 2016. Sales in the previous fiscal stood at Rs 170 crore. However, net loss rose to Rs 277 crore from Rs 61 crore due to higher spend on expansion, marketing and technology.

SuperMarket Grocery Supplies is a wholesale products supplier to BigBasket and owns the brand. A separate firm, Innovative Retail Concepts Pvt Ltd, runs the BigBasket property under licence from SuperMarket Grocery.

Innovative Retail Concepts recorded 187% increase in revenue to Rs 527 crore, up from Rs 183.7 crore in the previous year, but losses jumped to Rs 103.4 crore from Rs 7.5 crore.

In early December last year, the company had claimed that it saw 300% growth in revenue in the last one year and expects to cross the Rs 2,000-crore milestone by the end of this fiscal.

Trifecta Capital was founded by Nilesh Kothari and Rahul Khanna who manage a target corpus of Rs 500 crore. Trifecta provides early-stage debt capital to Indian companies, mainly in the technology sector. It usually prices its debt between 15% and 17%. The firm also looks to acquire a stake in companies through cashless warrants or partly paid-up shares.

In 18 months since its launch, the fund has supported 18 companies including PaperBoat, Rivigo, Nephroplus, Urban Ladder, Industrybuying, OneAssist, Urban Clap and IdeaForge. RBL Bank and Azim Premji Trust are the anchor investors in the fund.

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