Bengaluru-based B2B agri-marketing platform Ninjacart has raised around $1 Mn (INR 7 Cr) in venture debt funding round from Trifecta Capital.
Owned and operated by 63Ideas Infolabs Pvt., Ninjacart will use the funding to invest in capital expenditure and strengthen the supply chain infrastructure of the company. The latest funding round raised the total (disclosed) external investment in the company to $9.5 Mn.
Since the commencement of its operations in the late 2015, Trifecta Capital has invested in 25 companies including PaperBoat, Rivigo, Big Basket, Urban Ladder, UrbanClap, Box8, Livspace, Cure.Fit and IdeaForge.
“At Trifecta, we have always been mindful of the opportunity in F&V logistics. Ninjacart has done a great job in delivering fresh produce to retailers efficiently while removing non-value-adding middlemen to improve the earnings realised by farmers. We are excited to help them get even bigger and better in their journey, as they use our debt to invest in fulfillment, collection and distribution centres,” said Nilesh Kothari, Co-Founder of Trifecta Capital.
Ninjacart: Connecting Farmers To Businesses
NinjaCart was founded in May 2015 by the former head of TaxiForSure, Thirukumaran Nagarajan, along with Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Kartheeswaran K K (former TFS executives), Sachin Jose (former executive of Shout) and Sharath Loganathan. Initially, it worked as an on-demand grocery delivery company and later pivoted to an end-to-end B2B agri-marketing platform.
The startup connects farmers to businesses. Ninjacart picks up the produce from farmer’s fields and delivers it to the doorstep of the business. The company has perfected its sourcing and operations for achieving scale and lowering costs.
The company claims to have grown to process more than 150 tonnes of fruits and vegetables per day in Bengaluru. The startup has also done a pilot test of its playbook in Chennai and is further planning a full-fledged launch in Chennai by scaling to 100 tonnes per day in a span of three months, as per an official statement.
“We need to prepare our company for the next level of growth and this necessitates investments in developing both our technology and physical infrastructure. Already nearing a city level breakeven in Bengaluru, we are well equipped to raise debt capital and Trifecta has helped us ideally structure our financing needs,” said Thirukumaran Nagarajan.
Earlier in April 2017, it also raised $5.5 Mn from Accel Partners, Nandan Nilekani’s NRJN Trust, Mistletoe, Qualcomm Ventures and M&S Partners to expand its team and invest in supply chain automation, technology and data science. Prior to that, Ninjacart had raised $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr) in a funding round led by Accel Partners. The round also saw participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Singapore-based M&S Partners and ZopSmart.
Other notable players in the Indian agritech space are Waycool, Gold Farm, CropIn, Aibono, and more. As per Inc42 Datalabs, the size of agriculture and allied activities in the country underwent a near 100% growth between FY14 and FY15. Agricultural exports increased from $24.7 Bn in 2011-12 to $32.08 Bn in 2015-16; a CAGR of more than 6.75%. Further, around $36 Mn was invested in 15 startups in the space in 2017.
With agritech space heating up in India, to what extent the recent funding from Trifecta Capital will be able to help Ninjacart in disrupting this space, is something to watch out for.