Walmart and Flipkart have announced a joint strategic investment in Ninjacart, the supply chain startup working in India’s fresh produce industry to connect farmers with retailers and businesses in the hotels, restaurants and cafes (HoReCa) industry. A statement from Flipkart said the three companies will bring high-quality fresh produce to more retailers and consumers across India while also boosting farmer income and arresting revenue leaks in the agrarian economy.
The ecommerce company said it would strengthen direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and Flipkart’s online grocery business Supermart.
Further, with this new funding, Ninjacart will expand its customer base, reach new cities and gain exposure to global best practice to enhance the efficiency of the local fresh produce ecosystem.
Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said, “Developing Flipkart Supermart over the past year, we have focused on creating the right infrastructure, supporting local farmers, producers and food processors, and building sustainability into the ecosystem, all while creating thousands of new jobs and bringing quality, convenience and value to consumers. In Ninjacart, we see a company that shares our values, our pioneering mindset and our commitment to tech-driven innovation that improves life in India.”
Founded in May 2015 by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Sachin Jose, Kartheeswaran K K and Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Ninjacart is an agritech startup that sources groceries, fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and supplies these to supermarkets and kirana stores. It’s also moved into the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment, procuring from big brands and selling to store owners and other resellers.
With the aim of helping farmers get a better price for their produce, NinjaCart controls the entire supply chain in an attempt to reduce food wastage, introduce competitive prices for retailers and ensure quality food for all consumers.
Ninjacart says that it leverages big data, predictive analytics, mobile applications and the Internet of Things to power a just-in-time supply chain that connects farmers to retailers via a network of more than 200 collection centres and 1,200 warehouses across India.
It moves over 1,400 tons of fresh produce per day, having doubled its volumes in the last four months. It claims to source fruits and vegetables from farmers across more than 20 Indian states and delivers to over 17K local kirana stores and restaurants in seven Indian cities daily — Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi NCR and Pune.
The company claims that its supply chain creates a seamless link between its more than 44K farmer suppliers and its customer base of 60K kirana stores and restaurants across seven cities.
Krish Iyer, president and CEO, Walmart India said, “Ninjacart’s focus on direct-from-farm sourcing resonates well with Walmart’s commitment to supporting farmers in India. Our new partnership with Ninjacart will help us create more opportunities for smallholder farmers and boost rural incomes while also improving access to high-quality fresh produce for all our members including kiranas, hotels, restaurants and businesses around India.”
Flipkart in the media statement said that the transaction is expected to close by year-end 2019.