Walmart-owned Flipkart is reportedly planning to launch its own wholesale business in the first quarter of the financial year 2020-21. The company has also appointed senior vice president at Flipkart, Adarsh Menon, to lead the initiative.
As per an ET report, Flipkart has been strengthening its supply chain capabilities and engagements with manufacturers in preparation for the launch.
Besides that, Flipkart is running a pilot with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Delhi NCR, under which the company has started supplying to kirana stores. As per sources, Flipkart is in talks with the Bengaluru-based online B2B food and grocery marketplace Jumbotail for a potential investment, and strategic partnership.
Flipkart spokesperson told Inc42, “We view the B2B segment as an opportunity to support and grow kiranas and SMEs in the country… Technology can play a critical role in making the kirana ecosystem very robust and efficient.”
The news comes a month after ET reported that Flipkart may acquire Walmart’s loss-making B2B wholesale store, Best Price Modern Wholesale.
As per the report, Flipkart was looking to expand its footprint in the food and grocery segment and strengthen its supply chain with this reverse acquisition. Moreover, Flipkart will share Walmart’s warehouse to fulfil grocery orders, the report added.
Besides reportedly focusing on wholesale business, Flipkart is also working on its own online food and grocery platform FarmerMart. The company has also been running a pilot for FarmerMart in Hyderabad. As per reports, Flipkart has partnered with Chennai-based agritech startup WayCool Foods and Products and other sellers.
Apart from that Flipkart and Walmart, in December 2019, committed to investing in another agritech Ninjacart. Last month, Flipkart did invest INR 71.83 Cr ($10 Mn) in Ninjacart’s Series C round, along with Singapore-based GEC3. As per the Ministry of Corporate Affairs fillings of January 11, accessed by Inc42, Flipkart and GEC3 each have bought 1,175 Series C compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) in Ninjacart for INR 35.73 Cr.
Moreover, Flipkart has also invested $60 Mn in Series D funding round of the logistics startup Shadowfax. Shadowfax currently handles up to 10Mn monthly shipments across several segments — food delivery, groceries, ecommerce orders for fashion, electronics and other categories.
Recently, Walmart announced its metrics for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2020. Talking at the post-earnings presentation to investors and analysts, Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, Flipkart has led its overall ecommerce sales in the same period.
Moreover, Walmart added that the company’s monthly active customers have been growing by 45% and the transactions per customer are increasing by 30% since last year.