Walmart and Flipkart Group on Monday announced a fresh round of investment in Bengaluru-based business-to-business (B2B) supply chain company Ninjacart.
The companies, however, did not disclose the amount being invested. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the month.
In the coming months, Ninjacart will use the capital to expand to new markets and build new offerings and supply chains for emerging customer segments, while continuing to innovate on the supply chain to make it more efficient, reliable, and profitable, a statement said.
"This follows the investment made by Walmart and the Flipkart Group in December 2019, as the companies continue to focus on ensuring access to high quality fresh produce for consumers and retailers while creating economic opportunities for farmers through the continued use of technology," it added.
For Ninjacart, this further deepens the partnership with Walmart and the Flipkart Group to improve its offerings and enhance customer experience, it said.
"As Flipkart grows its Supermart (grocery) and Flipkart Quick (hyperlocal business), Ninjacart will continue to play a key role in providing fresh produce to consumers across the country as they increasingly look at e-grocery to meet their needs," it added.
Ninjacart was founded by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan and Vasudevan Chinnathambi in 2015.
Its investors include Tiger Global, Accel, Tanglin, Steadview, Syngenta, Nandan Nilekani and Qualcomm, among others.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Ninjacart had launched 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, among others.
It had also launched 'FoodPrint', a 100 per cent traceability platform for its products, during the lockdown to improve food safety.
Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the e-grocery market in India has seen tremendous growth over the past several months as people have increasingly taken to ordering groceries and fresh produce online.
"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 behaviour across the country," he added.
Nagarajan, CEO and co-founder of Ninjacart, said the fresh set of investments from Walmart and Flipkart Group takes the company one step closer to its vision of making food safe and accessible for a billion people and changing the way food reaches the plate.
"We will continue to invest in areas that impact the lives of customers and farmers positively," he added.