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BigBasket raises $300 mn funding led by Alibaba

twitter-logoPTI | February 2, 2018 | Updated 17:42 IST

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Online grocery player BigBasket today said it has raised USD 300 million (about Rs 1,920 crore) in a funding round, led by Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba and other investors.

The deal will give BigBasket more muscle to compete against rivals like Grofers and e-tailing giant Amazon.

The company said it plans to use the investment to build farmer networks and expand deeper into existing cities.

Bigbasket has also renewed its contract with actor Shahrukh Khan to continue as the companys brand ambassador, it said in a statement.

"BigBasket is delighted to receive this funding from Alibaba, which will essentially be directed towards growth and consolidation. The multinational e-commerce retailer fits in best with what we believe in," BigBasket co-founder and CEO Hari Menon said.

The funds will be directed towards strengthening the companys technology, analytics and infrastructure, he added.

"BigBasket is currently partnering with about 1,800 farmers throughout the country and aims to become the most preferred partner for up to 3,000 of them," Menon said.

The company said it is planning to "dig deeper" into the cities it already has foothold in, rather than focus on expansion into more cities.

BigBasket has recently crossed the 8 million customers mark. It closed the previous fiscal year (2016-17) with Rs 1,410 crore in revenue and has broken-even in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

BigBasket expects to break-even in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai in the next three months. Operational in 30 cities, the company is clocking Rs 200 crore in terms of monthly run- rate.

It expects this number to increase to Rs 300 crore in August, and touch Rs 500 crore in March 2019.

In November last year, Alibaba -- which is also an investor in Paytm -- had sought approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for acquiring stake in BigBasket.

Previously, BigBasket has raised over USD 200 million from investors like Abraaj Group, Bessemer Venture Partners, Growthstory, Helion Venture Partners, IFC and Sands Capital.

With people becoming comfortable buying even milk and bread online, the online grocery segment is projected to witness a strong growth over the next few years in India.

According to a report by Franchise India, the online grocery market is expected to be Rs 2.7 billion market by 2018-19. PTI SR ADI MKJ

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