“In addition, Ninjacart will invest in teams that have great tech abilities but may lack a solution or an idea at the moment,” the company said in a press release.
Other than investing capital, Ninjacart said it will also give startups access to the agri-platforms’ technology infrastructure, data pools and growth-stage advisory support.
“Joining forces with Ninjacart will open windows for emerging enterprises allowing them to access valuable data, supply chain infrastructure, technology, farmers, and existing partners,” said Thirukumuran Nagarajan, co-founder and CEO. “The startups will be introduced to VCs, angel investors, and incubators. The procedure would be simple, allowing early-stage entrepreneurs to turn their concepts into concrete action on ground.”
The seed fund announcement is made following a $145 million investment from Flipkart and its parent company Walmart in December. ET was the first
to report about the deal on December 13th. It is the biggest deal in the agri-tech space, the ecommerce company had said at the time.
Founded in 2015, Ninjacart currently operates in seven cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai. The company procures fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and supplies to retailers, hotels, restaurants and even apartment complexes
Discover the stories of your interest
The company said that it will further invest in the technology of its own operations.
“Recent investments by Walmart and Flipkart have broadened the company’s goal of creating a digital agri-ecosystem, allowing all agri-players, including farmers, resellers, retailers, consumers, and supply chain participants, to buy and sell fresh produce in a transparent manner,” the company said in the press release.
The investment into Ninjacart will help Flipkart “strengthen its grocery footprint and offerings” as it plans to scale its 90-minute online grocery business — Flipkart Quick — to 200 cities by the end of 2022. The Ninjacart investment will also be leveraged by Flipkart to strengthen its wider grocery offering Supermart.
“We announced the investment in Ninjacart—it’s a deep strategic partnership,” Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy
told ET on January 4th. “We also have partnerships with several farmer producer organisations and will launch Fresh in more cities over the next 6-12 months,” he said.
The same month, Ninjacart
also executed an employee stock option (Esop) buyback worth Rs 100 crore for current and former employees. An Esop is an employee benefit plan which gives a company’s staff ownership of the firm through equity shares which they can sell at certain times.