Flipkart India and Walmart on Monday announced that they have invested $145 million in fresh produce supply chain company Ninjacart to organise the agricultural ecosystem.
In October last year, Walmart and Flipkart Group had pumped in an undisclosed amount of funding in the Bengaluru-based company.
"This investment will further accelerate Ninjacart's journey towards building technology and infrastructure to organise, empower and enhance the lives of millions of agri value chain participants including farmers, resellers, retailers, consumers, and supply chain participants," the companies said in a statement.
Ninjacart has been investing significantly in tech platforms and supply chain infrastructure over the past two years. The company was founded by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan, and Vasudevan Chinnathambi in 2015. It has raised funds from investors like Tiger Global, Accel, Tanglin, Steadview, Syngenta, Nandan Nilekani, and Qualcomm, among others.
Commenting on the investment, Flipkart Group Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy said, "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."
Flipkart offers groceries in 1,800 cities and towns and aims to take its offering to 2,000 more towns by mid-next year. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be an integral part of the expansion, with the company investing in technology capabilities to ensure the highest and most stringent quality checks for the end consumer, the statement added.
Flipkart is also working to bring efficiencies in the community e-grocery shopping model. The company has intensified its focus on partnering with Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to provide access to high-quality fresh produce, staples, pulses, and spices, bringing new revenue opportunities to farmer communities across the country.
Ninjacart works closely with the farmers and has till date helped over 1 lakh farmers across 150 villages to generate better revenues. Its supply chain technology has helped solve problems such as distribution inefficiency and price risk.
"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," Ninjacart co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Thirukumaran Nagarajan said.
He added that the funds will be deployed to build world-class teams and scalable tech platforms to organise and grow the network.
Earlier this year, Ninjacart inked an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare to strengthen market linkages and promote best practices in farming sector. The role of Ninjacart is to create and host the Agri Marketplace Platform (AMP), which will allow farmers to earn a fair price for their output, offer consumers better food and value to all the players to create value.
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