“Flipkart and its US-based parent Walmart jointly made their second investment in fresh produce supply chain start-up Ninjacart, a person aware of the deal told ET, amounting to about $30 million.
In a joint statement released on Monday, Flipkart and Walmart said that the investment would deepen their relationship with Ninjacart and would boost its products and enhance the customer experience.
The investment comes at a time when, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the online grocery sector has seen massive growth. In the e-grocery space, the entry of Reliance Industries’ JioMart has also spurred competition.
Mr Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO at Flipkart Group said, “The e-grocery market in India has seen tremendous growth over the past several months. We will continue to make investments to offer the best products to our customers and support livelihoods and sustainable growth for local farmers, producers, and the supply chain ecosystem”.
Compared to its main competitor, Amazon, Flipkart, which has been a laggard in the grocery market, is using Ninjacart’s fresh produce supply to power its Supermart online grocery service and Flipkart Fast hyperlocal delivery service.
In December last year, Walmart and Flipkart first funded Ninjacart, and have partnered with the company since then on a farm-to-fork pilot. Ninjacart began deliveries of fresh produce to apartment complexes during the lockdown at the end of March and partnered with food delivery services to facilitate deliveries.
FoodPrint, a platform that enables traceability of all goods on its platform to enhance protection, was also launched by Ninjacart.
Mr. Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and CEO at Ninjacart said, “The fresh set of investments from Walmart and the Flipkart Group takes us one step closer to our vision of making food safe and accessible for the billion people and changing the way food reaches our plate”.
The company said it would use the new capital to expand into new markets and create new offerings for emerging segments of customers. Flipkart and Walmart added that the sale is scheduled to be completed by the end of October 2020.”