Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer and the Flipkart Group, have made a fresh round of investment in supply chain technology company Ninjacart. This follows the investment made by Walmart and the Flipkart Group in December 2019. The companies did not reveal the amount, but it is learnt that the firms have invested about $30 million in Ninjacart.
With this investment, Walmart and Flipkart said they are continuing to focus on ensuring access to high-quality fresh produce for consumers and retailers while creating economic opportunities for farmers through the continued use of technology.
For Bengaluru-based Ninjacart, the investment further deepens the partnership with Walmart and the Flipkart Group to improve its offerings and enhance the customer experience.
“The e-grocery market in India has seen tremendous growth over the past several months as people have increasingly taken to ordering groceries and fresh produce online,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group. “Our pilots and current business engagement with Ninjacart have been encouraging as we leverage technology to address changing consumer behaviour across the country,” he said.
Ninjacart will use the capital to expand to new markets and create new offerings and supply chains for emerging customer segments while continuing to innovate on the supply chain to make it more efficient, reliable, and profitable. Ninjacart is backed by investors such as Tiger Global, Accel, Tanglin, Steadview, Syngenta, Qualcomm and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani.
“The fresh set of investments from Walmart and the Flipkart Group takes us one step closer to our vision of making food safe and accessible for the billion people and changing the way food reaches our plate,” said Thirukumaran Nagarajan, CEO and co-founder of Ninjacart. “We are excited to have Walmart and the Flipkart Group show confidence in our capabilities around growth and profitability. We will continue to invest in areas that impact the lives of customers and farmers positively,” he added.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns, Ninjacart demonstrated agility and innovation by launching a series of initiatives such as apartment delivery, including a ‘Farm to fork’ pilot with Flipkart, customer delivery through food delivery apps, ‘Harvest the Farms’ initiative in a week’s time to help both customers and farmers. Ninjacart also launched ‘FoodPrint’ — a 100 per cent traceability platform for its products during the Covid lockdown to improve food safety.
This second round of funding also demonstrates Walmart and the Flipkart Group’s continued commitment to invest in India’s agriculture and food supply chain.
As Flipkart grows its Supermart (grocery) and Flipkart Quick (hyperlocal business), Ninjacart will continue to play a key role in providing fresh produce to consumers across the country as they increasingly look at e-grocery to meet their needs.
“We will continue to make investments to offer the best produce to our customers and support livelihoods and sustainable growth for local farmers, producers and the supply chain ecosystem,” said Krishnamurthy of Flipkart.
Ninjacart has developed many indigenous solutions that work for India at scale. It has built India’s low-cost last-mile network using an innovative network model coupled with data science. It’s less-than-12 hours connectivity from farm to store helps avoid the need for control temperature supply chain for perishable goods.