India’s largest online retailer, Flipkart, and its US-based parent entity Walmart have jointly invested an undisclosed sum in fresh produce supply chain startup Ninjacart, both companies said on Wednesday.
Bentonville, Arkansas-headquartered retail behemoth was likely to invest about $10 million in the first tranche and going up to as much as $50 million, in Ninjacart. The deal is the latest indicator of both Flipkart and Walmart’s ambitions in the broader grocery segment.
Under this agreement, which is expected to close by the end of this year, Walmart, Flipkart, and Ninjacart will ensure that there is better access to high-quality fresh produce for the retailers and consumers while it also creates more economic opportunities for the farmers.
A press release issued by Flipkart and Walmart said, “Partnering with Ninjacart will help Walmart and Flipkart strengthen direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and Flipkart’s online grocery business Supermart.”
Founded in 2015 by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan and Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Ninjacart delivers over 1,400 tonnes of fruits and vegetables sourced from more than 44,000 farmers to 60,000 Kirana stores and restaurants across seven cities.
With the aim of helping farmers get a better price for their produce, NinjaCart controls the entire supply chain in an attempt to reduce food wastage, introduce competitive prices for retailers and ensure quality food for all consumers.
Ninjacart says that it leverages big data, predictive analytics, mobile applications and the Internet of Things to power a just-in-time supply chain that connects farmers to retailers via a network of more than 200 collection centers and 1,200 warehouses across India.
Further, with this new funding, Ninjacart will expand its customer base, reach new cities and gain exposure to global best practices to enhance the efficiency of the local fresh produce ecosystem.
“Developing Flipkart Supermart over the past year, we have focused on creating the right infrastructure, supporting local farmers, producers, and food processors, and building sustainability into the ecosystem, all while creating thousands of new jobs and bringing quality, convenience and value to consumers. In Ninjacart, we see a company that shares our values, our pioneering mindset and our commitment to tech-driven innovation that improves life in India,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said.