Indian online grocery retailer Big Basket has become the nation’s first unicorn by raising $150 million to strengthen itself against new entrants into the market like Amazon, Dunzo, Swiggy and Walmart owned Flipkart. The F Series financing round led by Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, CDC Group and Alibaba has helped the seven year old firm surpass valuation of $1 billion said itsco – founder Vipul Parekh who also manages marketing and finances for the firm. Alibaba which also participated in its previous Series E round funding last year is its largest investor with stake worth 30 %.
The company now manages deliveries of nearly 20,000 products of 1000 brands across more than two dozen cities. It stated that the fresh capital will be deployed for expanding its supply chain infrastructure and adding cold storage units along with distribution centers for serving customers faster. Parekh stated that future plans include installation of around 3000 vending machines to sell daily essentials like vegetables, cold beverages and snacks in large residential complexes and office within a month. This fresh capital infusion will help to manage competition from other large competitors like Flipkart and Amazon that are expanding their business of grocery supplies across India.
Amazon’s Indian Retail business comprises of Amazon Pantry and Prime Now that is spread across 100 cities and has ambitious plans of expanding across several more. Flipkart is in talks to acquire retail chain of Namdhari’s Fresh and CEO Kalyan Krishnamurty said during an interview that it may launch a pilot soon for fresh food business. But Big Basket’s Parekh brushed off these challenges stating that India is too large and complex market to be dominated by single player and though both Flipkart and Amazon may appear serious about this segment this at present is just an additional checkpoint for them. He assured that as Big Basket offers largest catalog of products with fastest delivery among rivals it is not likely to be affected by competition.