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Gurugram-based online grocery startup Milkbasket has raised an undisclosed amount in a Pre-Series A funding round from Blume Ventures. Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group (LCIG) also participated in the round.

The investment will go into expanding the company’s operations in Gurugram. A portion of the funding will be used to acquire new talents in technology, supply chain and operations.

Commenting on the development, Milkbasket co-founder and CEO Anant Goel said, “We have studied the inadequacies of the supply chain in groceries in depth and see a huge potential to add value at both supply and demand side. We hope this investment will help us fulfil our aim to simplify the currently fragmented supply chain and use technology to expand operations to cater to more societies in Gurugram.”

The latest funding round saw the exit of Milkbasket’s existing investors, including EVC and a few angel investors.

Established last year in Beijing, Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group (LCIG) primarily backs emerging businesses in core-technology and Internet-related areas. Investing through the Lenovo Capital Phase II Investment Fund, the firm is looking to drive innovation in diverse sectors, including cloud computing, big data, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

So far, it has backed more than 40 startups such as iDreamSky, Face++, StyleWe, Shopex, ZAKER, Diting Technology, SMARTX, etc. Speaking about the firm’s decision to invest in Milkbasket, LCIG Managing Director Jeffrey Wang said, “The team at Milkbasket is doing a great job of eliminating the problems that exist in the on-demand grocery industry and we couldn’t be more excited about this collaboration.”

Founded in 2010 by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath, Blume Ventures is a VC fund that participates in Seed, angel and Pre-Series A rounds. It has backed more than 70 startups, including Taxiforsure (acquired by Olacabs), Zipdial (acquired by Twitter), Qubecell (acquired by Boku), Grey Orange Pte Lte, Mettl, Webengage, Hotelogix, Exotel, Rolocule Games and Carbon Clean Solutions, amongst others.

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Karthik Reddy, the Managing Partner at Blume Ventures said, “Anant and team at Milkbasket have understood the ingrained milkman habit in Indian homes, leveraged that simple habit, and taken the customer experience of getting any groceries home-delivered to an altogether new level. It’s easy as getting morning papers! And, in that simplicity, lies the beauty of the model.”

Milkbasket: Bringing Online Grocery Booking To The People Of Gurugram

Launched in 2015 by INSEAD graduates Anant Goel, Ashish Goel, Anurag Jain, and Yatish Talvadia, Milkbasket is a micro-delivery grocery service inspired by the unique Indian concept of getting fresh milk delivered at home every morning. Starting with only milk delivery, Milkbasket now offers over 3,000+ products through a hybrid inventory model to maximise product margins while controlling costs.

Available on both Android and iOS, the app strives to deliver groceries and household essentials by 7 am every day. All a user needs to do is place the order by midnight the day before. Milkbasket currently claims to serve more than 10,000 families across 115 societies in Gurugram. As claimed, Milkbasket has a 99% order fulfillment rate.

Goel added, “By reducing the last-mile logistics cost to a fraction of the industry (1/20th) and removing a real pain area of customers, Milkbasket has cracked the online grocery delivery model for India. We aspire to be serving a million families, every day, in the next 5 years and our belief is further solidified with this round of funding by two internationally recognised players.”

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Its list ofvalue-addedd services includes flexi-ordering and contactless online grocery delivery. Backed by an in-house procurement and logistics infrastructure, Milkbasket claims to have processed nearly 1.5 Mn orders till date.

The current round marks the third time that the startup has raised funding from investors. In December 2016, the online grocery platform secured investment from Hofan Capital and Draphant. A few Milkbasket customers also participated in the round.

Earlier in April last year, the micro delivery startup raised $500K in Pre-Series A round of funding led by EVC and a group of Chinese investors.

In the micro-delivery space, Milkbasket competes against startups like DailyNinja, Town Essentials and RainCan, among others. Earlier in June, Noida-based daily needs micro delivery startup MrNeeds raised $500K in Pre-Series A funding from a clutch of undisclosed investors.

A month prior to that, subscription-based micro delivery startup Supr Daily secured about $1.5 Mn (INR 10 Cr) from Y Combinator partners Paul Buchheit and Jared Friedman. The round also saw the participation of Soma Capital, Great Oaks Ventures, 122 West Ventures, and RedMart founder Roger Egan.

With the latest funding from Blume Ventures and Lenovo Capital, Milkbasket hopes to break even in the online grocery delivery segment, which has already witnessed large-scale shutdowns in 2016.

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