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India: Bigbasket raises US$150M as it takes on Amazon, Flipkart

 |  May 7, 2019

Bigbasket, the Indian online grocery store operator, raised $150 million in a fresh round of venture funding, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.

Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba and South Korean investment firm Mirae-Naver led the round of funding, according to a report by Reuters, citing the company. CDC, the U.K.’s development finance institution, also participated in the funding round. Alibaba is currently Bigbasket’s largest shareholder, leading a $300 million round of funding in 2018. Alibaba is in a fierce battle with Amazon in all aspects of eCommerce as both expand around the globe. Bigbasket is aiming to break even somewhere between 2020 and 2022, noted the report.

Bigbasket competes against Walmart’s Flipkart and Amazon in the Indian online market. Proceeds from the funding will go to expand and scale its supply chain. Bigbasket is in 25 Indian cities. It has been investing money into its logistics and well as warehouse space and is aiming to expand its grocery delivery into small areas to maintain its lead in the online grocery market. News of a $150 million capital raise by BigBasket broke in late March, with reports at the time saying the company’s valuation would be between $2 billion and $2.3 billion when it was complete.

Amazon is also making a big bet on the Indian marketplace. Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos has said that his company will invest $5 billion in the country as it competes against local rivals such as Flipkart and Bigbasket. Amazon has been in expansion mode in the region, anticipating groceries will account for over half of its India business in the next five years. Amit Agarwal, the head of Amazon India, was quoted as saying back in March that groceries and items such as creams, soaps and cleaning products were already the largest product category on the Amazon site in terms of the number of units sold in India.

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