US retail giant Walmart Inc and its Indian e-commerce arm Flipkart have jointly invested in Ninjacart, a business-to-business marketplace for agricultural produce.
The deal will help Walmart strengthen its direct sourcing of fresh produce for its B2B cash-and-carry stores while Flipkart will improve its online grocery business Supermart, the companies said in a statement. They didn’t disclose the deal value.
The two investors expect the transaction to close by the end of this year.
The investment will also help Ninjacart to expand its customer base to more cities and enhance the efficiency of the local fresh produce ecosystem.
Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and chief executive officer at Ninjacart, said the company is looking forward to making this vision a reality.
Separately, Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the investment was in line with the e-commerce player’s larger strategy of creating infrastructure, supporting local farmers, producers and food processors, and building sustainability in the local ecosystem.
Bengaluru-based Ninjacart, operated by 63Ideas Infolabs Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2015. It initially began as a hyper-local grocery delivery company but then shifted to a B2B setup. Farmers can sell vegetables and fruits directly to business establishments such as shops, retailers and restaurants via the startup’s platform.
The announcement of the investment by Walmart and Flipkart comes after Ninjacart raised Rs 625 crore ($90 million) from the US-based investment firm Tiger Global Management in April this year. The investment resulted in Tiger picking up a 26.47% stake in the company.
That funding came within five months of Ninjacart having raised Rs 250 crore in a Series B funding round led by US-based venture capital firm Accel and Switzerland-based agri investor Syngenta Ventures in December last year.
Ninjacart has raised over $150 million so far and counts Accel, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s NRJN Trust; South Korean-based Neoplux, the venture arm of the Doosan Corp; Joe Hirao, founder of multi-business firm ZIGExN; Russian venture firm HR Capital; venture debt firm Trifecta Capital; Japanese venture capital firm-cum-accelerator Misteltoe; and Qualcomm Ventures as its investors.