Online supermarket BigBasket has raised $300 million in a fresh round of funding led by Chinese e-tailer Alibaba and other investors. BusinessLine had reported last October that the company was in the final stages of closing $250-$300 million in Series E funding from new and existing investors.
“Bigbasket is delighted to receive this funding from Alibaba, which will be directed towards growth and consolidation. The multinational e-commerce retailer fits in best with what we believe in. The funds will be directed towards bettering our technological, analytical and infrastructural prowess, all of which will enable the company to move up the curve,” said Hari Menon, CEO and co-founder, BigBasket.
Stating that the firm is currently partnering with about 1,800 farmers across the country and aims to become the “most preferred partner” for up to 3,000 of them, he said: “Our strategy is to eventually become the one-stop shop for all customer needs in future.”
Instead of focussing on expansion into more cities, BigBasket plans to dig deeper into the cities it already has a foothold in. In addition to partnering with farmers and gaining a larger customer base, the third big priority for the company is to become a leading employer for blue-collar workers in the country (The firm’s current employee strength is 16,000).
The online supermarket has also strengthened its B2B business by expanding to the HoReCa (Hotels, Restaurants and Caterers) segment and partnering with kirana stores in an effort to transform them into technology-enabled modern retail stores.
The company closed the previous fiscal year (2016-17) with ₹1,410 crore in revenue. It has broken even in two key markets — Bengaluru and Hyderabad — and is expected to break even in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai in the next three months.
BigBasket had recently crossed the eight million customers mark and operates in 30 cities, clocking ₹200 crore in monthly run-rate, which is expected to grow to ₹300 crore in August and hit ₹500 crore in March 2019. Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, the company’s brand ambassador for the past two years, has extended his agreement with the firm for the third year.
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