Walmart and Flipkart have announced a joint strategic investment in Ninjacart, which offers a B2B solution for the fresh produce market. While the companies did not reveal the size of the investment, sources said this will be close to $50 million.
Partnering with Ninjacart will help Walmart and Flipkart strengthen direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and Flipkart’s online grocery business Supermart, the companies said in a statement.
The investment will also support Ninjacart to expand its customer base, reach new cities and gain exposure to global best practice to enhance the efficiency of the local fresh produce ecosystem.
Ninjacart was founded in 2015 and leverages big data, predictive analytics, mobile applications and the Internet of Things to power a just-in-time supply chain that connects farmers to retailers via a network of more than 200 collection centers and 1,200 warehouses across India. It moves over 1,400 tons of fresh produce per day, having doubled its volumes in the last four months.
Ninjacart has earlier raised money from top funds such as Tiger Global, Accel Partners, Steadview Capital, Syngenta Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and Nandan Nilekani.
Flipkart also led a $60 million funding round in last-mile delivery startup Shadowfax last week.
Flipkart is aiming to strengthen its grocery supply and delivery play via these two investments. Flipkart recently registered a new company called Flipkart Farmermart Pvt and said that it would invest Rs 2,500 crore in the grocery business.
Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said, “In Ninjacart, we see a company that shares our values, our pioneering mindset and our commitment to tech-driven innovation that improves life in India.”
Thirukumaran Nagarajan, CEO and Co-founder of Ninjacart, commented, “Ninjacart wants to make food safer and more accessible, while ensuring a fair price for everyone involved. We are excited that Flipkart and Walmart are joining us to make this vision a reality and showing confidence in our technology and business model.”
Krish Iyer, President and CEO, Walmart India, said, “Ninjacart’s focus on direct-from-farm sourcing resonates well with Walmart’s commitment to supporting farmers in India."
"We are working towards our commitment of sourcing 25% of produce in our Best Price cash-and-carry stores directly from farmers by 2023. This would help accelerate market access for them and reduce transportation costs," said Iyer.The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2019.