Flipkart, Walmart invest $145m in Agritech platform Ninjacart
US-based retailer Walmart Inc and Flipkart Group on Monday announced to invest $145 million in agritech startup Ninjacart. This is the third time Flipkart has invested the in fresh produce supply chain company Ninjacart.
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, a statement read.
"The investment of USD 145 million from Flipkart and Walmart further validates and strengthens Ninjacart's vision to ensure better access to high-quality fresh produce for more retailers and consumers across India while also creating economic opportunities and better incomes for farmers in India," the statement added.
Ninjacart has been investing significantly in tech platforms and supply chain infrastructure over the past two years.
In October 2020, Walmart and Flipkart Group had pumped in an undisclosed amount of funding in the Bengaluru-based company.
Its other investors include venture capital firms Accel, US-based Qualcomm Ventures, Russia’s HR Capital, Japanese venture capital firm-cum-accelerator Mistletoe, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s NRJN Trust and South Korea-based Neoplux, the venture arm of Doosan Corp.
Founded by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan, and Vasudevan Chinnathambi in 2015, Ninjacart has raised funds from investors like Tiger Global, Accel, Tanglin, Steadview, Syngenta, Nandan Nilekani, and Qualcomm, among others.
“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 Group Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy said.
He further said that Flipkart's investment and partnership in Ninjacart over the years is a testament to the continued commitment and success it has seen in the endeavour to create a democratic and organised agriculture market.
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.
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 one 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, scalable tech platforms to organise and grow the network.
Earlier this year, Ninjacart signed an MoU (Memorandum of Undersatinding) with the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare to strengthen the market linkages and promote best practices in the 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.