Indian E-Grocer BigBasket.com Becomes Unicorn in $50m Series C Funding

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India’s largest e-grocer BigBasket.com, has raised $50 million Series C funding in a round that values the company at $1 billion. The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based VC, which has been working on it since late last year. The Series C includes new investors Helion Venture Partners and Ascent Capital, and existing investor, Zodius Capital, according to CrunchBase.

This funding makes BigBasket.com India’s highest valued vertical player in the segment, with fashion retailer Jabong estimated to be worth over $500 million, according to Economic Times.

Initially launched in Bangalore, BigBasket.com is now also present in Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai, and in June announced plans to open 10 new warehouses in each of these cities, as well as 50 smaller towns, across the country, as part of a major build out. The company also bought Delyver in June, a hyperlocal food delivery startup in Bangalore, which promises delivery within an hour across much of the city.

Speed to market is the next big thing for online retail and in this area, BigBasket is not without it’s competitors. Big name VC Sequoia Capital has backed two businesses in the space: Grofers and PepperTap.

PepperTap’s ambition is to be the fastest in the space, currently offering two hour deliveries from store to door in Delhi NCR, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Chennai. Grofers, meanwhile, does not only focus on groceries, but includes other household deliveries. And BigBasket.com is web-based whereas the other two are mobile apps.

Other names keep popping up in Indian online food delivery too. This week a Pune-based startup Rain Can raised $100,000 in seed funding from angel investors, and hyperlocal logistics service provider Pickingo, raised $1.3m in a seed capital last week led by Orios Venture Partners, while high-speed food delivery service Opinio secured $1.6 million from Accel Partners towards its Series A round last month.

BigBasket’s tie-up with Bessemer Ventures, which owns a stake in meal kit delivery company Blue Apron, is already having an effect and could add another string to the e-grocer’s bow — it is understood to be making moves towards offering a similar service.

“We want to do what Blue Apron has done in America and no one has consolidated that space in the Indian market,” Hari Menon, chief executive officer of BigBasket.com, told LiveMint in June.

Founded in 2011, the company has now raised a total of $85.5 million, despite being cash rich and not necessarily needing the capital, local observers told the Economic Times. 

Other investors include Indian VC ICICI Venture and entrepreneurship platform GrowthStory.


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