India's Ninjacart, which brings high-tech services including supply chain infrastructure to the country's produce market, has secured new funding from existing investors Walmart and Flipkart Group, the company announced on Monday (Oct. 12). Walmart owns Flipkart.
Neither the investors nor Ninjacart disclosed the amount invested.
The statement noted: "During the COVID lockdowns, Ninjacart demonstrated agility and innovation by launching a series of initiatives such as apartment delivery, including a ‘Farm to Fork’ pilot with Flipkart, customer delivery through food delivery apps, ‘Harvest the Farms’ initiative, etc. in a week’s time to help both customers and farmers. Also in an industry-first move, Ninjacart launched ‘FoodPrint’ – a 100 percent traceability platform for its products during the COVID lockdown to improve the food safety."
The statement continued: "Ninjacart has developed many indigenous solutions that work for India at scale – it has built India’s low-cost last-mile network using an innovative network model coupled with data science. Its less-than-12-hours connectivity from farm to store helps avoid the need for control[led] temperature supply chain for perishable goods."
Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive of Flipkart Group, added: "The eGrocery market in India has seen tremendous growth over the past several months as people have increasingly taken to ordering groceries and fresh produce online. At the Flipkart Group, we are focused on ensuring that we continue to work toward developing new and innovative ways to meet our customers’ needs in this space through the growth of Supermart and the recent launch of Flipkart Quick.
“We will continue to make investments to offer the best produce to our customers and support livelihoods and sustainable growth for local farmers, producers and the supply chain ecosystem. Our pilots and current business engagement with Ninjacart have been encouraging as we leverage technology to address changing consumer behavior across the country."
Ninjacart Founder and Chief Executive Thirukumaran Nagarajan said in a prepared statement: "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. We are excited to have Walmart and the Flipkart Group show confidence in our capabilities around growth and profitability. We will continue to invest in areas that impact the lives of customers and farmers positively."
Ninjacart said it will use the capital to expand to new markets and build new offerings and supply chains for emerging customer segments.
Walmart and Flipkart also invested in Ninjacart in December of 2019. The sums of those investments were not disclosed at the time.
In August of this year, Flipkart launched a website called Flipkart Wholesale, a B2B platform for small businesses and shops. The fashion-centric service also includes credit offerings for merchants.
Ninjacart's investors, in addition to Walmart and The Flipkart Group, include Tiger Global, Accel, Tanglin, Steadview, Syngenta, Nandan Nilekani and Qualcomm.