Walmart Inc., along with its Indian e-commerce arm Flipkart, invested an undisclosed sum in fruits and vegetable supply chain startup Ninjacart as the retail giant looks to strengthen its grocery business and take on Amazon Prime.
As part of the investment, Bengaluru-based Ninjacart will help Walmart in direct sourcing of fresh produce for its Best Price business-to-business stores, both the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The funding will also help Ninjacart expand its customer base and enter new cities, the statement said. The deal is expected to close by year-end.
Flipkart plans to take on Amazon’s online grocery delivery business. Earlier this year, it set up Flipkart FarmerMart Pvt. Ltd. in Bengaluru to operate its food retail business.
Last week, it led a $60-million funding round in logistics startup Shadowfax to bolster its delivery service and offer two-hour and one-day delivery for fresh grocery and other products—a move largely seen as a way to counter Amazon’s Prime delivery service.
Tiger Global Management-backed Ninjacart has held talks with various e-commerce players, including Amazon India, for potential investment in its grocery business, a person privy to the discussions told BloombergQuint.
Flipkart, however, will be the first online partner for Ninjacart.
Ninjacart plans to raise $40-50 million as part of the fundraise, the person said.
Founded in 2015, Ninjacart claims it has more than 44,000 farmer suppliers with a customer base of 60,000 kirana stores and restaurants across seven cities. The startup said it moves over 1,400 tonnes of fresh produce per day, and has doubled its volumes in the last four months.
“We are excited that Flipkart and Walmart are joining us,” Thirukumaran Nagarajan, chief executive officer and co-founder of Ninjacart, said. “With their support, we see new possibilities to improve the lives of our farmers, retailers and restaurant partners.”
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