Bengaluru-based agritech startup Ninjacart has raised INR 625 Cr ($89.5 Mn) from US-based venture capital company Tiger Global. With this, the startup is now valued at over $320 Mn (INR 2,232 Cr).
As a part of this investment, Tiger Global has now acquired 26.5% stake in the company. The development was first reported by paper.vc.
The report also said that the startup had issued 20,442 Series C compulsorily convertible preference shares at INR 3,04,142.78 per share. It also issued 100 equity shares with a face value of INR 100.
Inc42 reached out to Ninjacart for a confirmation, but cofounder and CEO Thirukumaran Nagarajan refused to comment on the report.
Ninjacart was founded in 2015 by Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan and Vasudevan Chinnathambi. It offers a platform for farmers to directly connect with businesses. It offers services across seven cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Ahmedabad, and Pune. Currently, it works with over 12K farmers.
Prior to this, the agritech startup had raised $34.6 Mn (INR 250 Cr) in a Series B funding round from Accel US, Syngenta Ventures, Neoplux, ZIGxN founder Jo Hirao, HR Capital, and Trifecta Capital. The funds are being used for expanding its services in new geographies, strengthening its product and technology team.
Earlier Ninjacart had raised $4.9 Mn (INR 35 Cr) in Series A round from Accel, NRJN Trust, among others in July 2018. It had also raised $1 Mn (INR 7 Cr) in a venture debt funding round from Trifecta Capital in March 2018.
This is Tiger Global’s second big-ticket investment this month. The startup-focussed tech fund along with Sequoia Capital invested $26 Mn (approx INR 180 Cr) in San Francisco and Mumbai-based WizRocket, the parent company of CleverTap, a mobile marketing platform.
In March, Tiger Global also invested in the Series A funding round of Bengaluru-based expense management startup Fyle. With this round, it picked up 22.45% stake in the startup. Prior to this, Tiger Global also invested in February.
Focus On Agritech In India
According to Inc42 DataLabs, the total funding in agritech startups in India has grown from $46.1 Mn (INR 320 Cr) 2017 to $66.6 Mn (INR 463 Cr) in 2018, which is indicative of the growing investor interest in this sector.
While India is an agricultural economy, Indian farmers continue to live in poverty. One of the sector’s most pressing issues is the use of middlemen who control the price of the produce and inflate their margins. In order to solve this problem, several startups are working towards eliminating the need for middlemen was connecting farmers directly to the consumers.
Some of the notable players in this space are FreshoKartz, Farmtaaza, Waycool, Crofarm, FarmLink, Krishihub, Sabziwala.
Most recently, Jaipur-based Freshokartz raised an undisclosed amount in its seed funding round from Chennai-based investor Sunil Kumar Singhvi along with a group of angel investors and high net worth individuals on convertible note terms.
In January, Chennai-based agritech startup WayCool Foods raised $16.9 Mn (INR 120 Cr) as a combination of equity and debt from LGT Impact, prominent angels, and institutional lenders including Northern Arc Capital and Caspian.
Ninjacart was part of the 2018 edition of the most coveted list of India’s most innovative startups — 42Next by Inc42.