Flipkart and Walmart have announced a US$145m investment in Indian fresh produce supply chain start-up Ninjacart.
This is the third investment Flipkart and its US-based majority shareholder Walmart, have made in Ninjacart with the other two rounds coming in October 2020 and 2019.
The funding will be used to power Ninjacart’s goal of ensuring better access to high-quality fresh produce for more retailers and consumers across India while also creating economic opportunities & better incomes for farmers in India.
Ninjacart works over 100,000 farmers across 150 villages to date, to implement new supply chain technologies and help solve problems such as distribution inefficiency and price risk.
Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and chief executive of Ninjacart, said Ninjacart has been investing significantly in tech platforms and supply chain infrastructure over the past two years.
“Thanks to our employees, farmers, retailers, and all ecosystem players. The funds will enable us to dream beyond organising the farmer-to-retailer ecosystem to a much larger goal of organising the complete agri ecosystem and enabling transparent commerce,” said Nagarajan.
“We are ecstatic that Flipkart and Walmart continue to partner with us in making this vision a reality by believing in our technological expertise and core values. India is at a cusp of formalising the agriculture industry, with the advent to better road connectivity, GST, seamless payments, digital infrastructure, etc.
“This opens up a tremendous opportunity to organise our agri ecosystem landscape like never before. We are investing in this huge potential to create value. The funds will be deployed to build world-class teams, scalable tech platforms to organise and grow the network.”
E-commerce company Flipkart currently offers grocery in 1,800 Indian cities and towns. Flipkart Group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy, said fresh fruits and vegetables will play an integral part in plans to take its offering to 2,000 more towns by mid-2022, as will Ninjacart.
“As a homegrown company we have constantly focused on creating the right infrastructure and technological solutions that support local farmers, producers, and food processors. With this investment, we are further able to strengthen our grocery footprint and offering as consumers across the country throng to e-grocery for quality and affordable options in the fresh category,” said Krishnamurthy.
“Through technology, we are able to bring great efficiencies in the value chain and create an impact by providing the farming community additional opportunities for better income.
'Our investment and partnership in Ninjacart over the years is a testament to the continued commitment and success we have seen in our endeavour to create a democratic and organised agriculture market. At Flipkart, we are well poised and committed to building a sustainable ecosystem for fresh produce and uplift the communities associated with it in the process.”