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Big Basket raises $150 million in fresh round of funding, eyes profitability in FY19

BusinessToday.In     May 6, 2019

Online grocery store Big Basket has reportedly secured fresh round of funding worth USD 150 million (about Rs 1,040 crore) led by Chinese e-tailer Alibaba and other investors including, South Korean firm Mirae Asset and UK government-owned CDC Group, suggested media report.

The latest funding pushes the supermarket grocery platform's valuation to over USD 1 billion. In March this year, the Big Basket entered into India's mushrooming unicorn club after it raised USD 150 million from Alibaba and Mirae Asset.

The company intends to use USD 100 million of fresh funds in capital expenditure to build infrastructure, technology and supply chain, the Economic Times quoted cofounder Vipul Parekh as saying this. With online grocery attracting interest from the likes of Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy and Grofers, the Bangalore-based start-up will use the fresh funds to notch the top spot in online marketplaces.

According to Parekh, the company is now looking to operationally break even in next six-eight months after it breaches the USD 800-million revenue growth. This could be achieved through optimising the supply chain, technology, minimising logistics costs and improving margins from its fresh and wholesale business, he said.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, the online food and grocery store Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt Ltd, which runs BigBasket, had reported a 34 per cent growth in its revenues at Rs 1,606 crore ($ 230.95 mn), as against Rs 1,197 crore ($172.14 million) in the previous year. The company managed to narrow its loss by 53 percent to Rs 310 crore. The firm had posted a loss of Rs 653 crore in FY17.

"Grocery is a business of scale, and our defensibility lies in our farm-to-fork supply chain of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and inventory-led wholesale approach, which helps us with high order fill rates," the leading daily quoted him as saying this.

The company's 70 per cent of sales come from its e-commerce portal BigBasket, which includes supplies to other businesses such as hotels, restaurants as well as offline retail brands. "We will expand our reseller network this year," he said.

Established in December 2011 by Hari Menon, VS Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari, and VS Ramesh, BigBasket has already positioned itself as the largest grocery delivery firm and now operates across 32 cities, with annual revenue of Rs 350-400 crore.

Edited by Chitranjan Kumar

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