Bengaluru-based online grocery delivery platform BigBasket has raised $60 Mn from existing investor Alibaba in its latest funding round to meet the upsurge in demand for essential products amid lockdown.
According to sources cited by ET, the corpus has come in a bridge funding round which will help the company to cover short-term expenses. As of now, BigBasket is facing disruptions in delivering groceries on time as the company has witnessed a surge in the number of orders due to the imposed lockdown. The development was first reported by Entrackr.
Before this, BigBasket had raised $150 Mn in Series F funding round. With this round, the company had become the first online grocery delivery platform to enter the unicorn club with a $1.2 Bn valuation. It had also raised around $13 Mn in debt from Trifecta last year.
BigBasket Looks To Resume Normal Service
It is worth noting that BigBasket had already got a commitment from Alibaba for this funding. However, the money has come at a time when BigBasket could definitely use it to scale and tweak operations and set up the additional infrastructure to meet the demand as well as safety requisites.
Moreover, many delivery partners of the company have gone back to their hometowns due to the lockdown. Therefore, the funding will also help the company to solve the manpower crunch.
As of now, the company is operating around 50% of its capacity. To enhance the operations, BigBasket has partnered with last-mile delivery companies which are helping the company to meet the demand.
For instance, cab-hailing major Uber has already started delivering groceries for BigBasket. It has also partnered with Gurugram-based electric two-wheeler startup Zypp for delivering staples and grocery items.
CEO of BigBasket Hari Menon had recently said that the company has infrastructure capable of handling around 300K orders per day. Before the lockdown, BigBasket was clocking around 150K orders per day. However, the company will be looking to ramp up the infrastructure as people will be relying more on online platforms for their grocery orders.
Also, the recent funding will help the startup to maintain dominance in the burgeoning segment. While BigBasket’s closest competitor is Softbank-backed Grofers, ecommerce majors Flipkart and Amazon are now also marking their presence in the segment by offering timely delivery and discounts.
Moreover, the entry of food delivery platforms such as Zomato and Swiggy have made the segment more competitive. Also, players like ecommerce platform Shopclues and social commerce platform Meesho have started to deliver groceries while B2B grocery supplier Ninjacart has also started to deliver groceries to societies and apartment communities.