Leading Indian online grocery retailer Big Basket has moved to bolster its cold storage infrastructure, amid growing competition in the country’s e-commerce sector.
The Times of India reports Big Basket has accrued Rs450m in venture debt from Trifecta Capital to establish a new cold chain and warehousing facility.
"We are in the last leg of a pilot which will ensure that all fruits and vegetables are maintained at constant temperature and there by improve shelf life of the produce by almost 10 days. This will be done using large scale equipment such as pre-coolers and ventilators,” Hari Menon, co-founder of SuperMarket Grocery Supplies, which runs Big Basket, told the Times of India. “Funding such capex requirements is best done through debt.”
The move comes just months after US-owned Amazon filed an application
with India’s Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) to become the first wholly owned foreign retailer to sell locally produced food items online in India.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is also boosting its presence in India, with a US$177m investment in India’s Paytm E-Commerce.
Big Basket has mandated investment bank Morgan Stanley for a US$150m fund-raise, which was expected to close this month, according to the Times of India.