India’s largest online grocer, BigBasket to become a unicorn with US$150M

by Felicia Calle

Online grocer BigBasket, which is operated by SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd, is raising US$150 million in fresh funding which will make them the nation’s newest unicorn. This funding round is joined by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, South Korean Mirae Asset Global Investments and the UK government-backed CDC Group.

According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filing, Alibaba Group will subscribe to 437.5K Series F compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) for US$50 million, while Mirae Asset will be allotted 524.9K CCPS at US$59.9 million. CDC will pick up 350K CCPS in the company for US$40 million.

Prior to this round, BigBasket had raised a total of US$874.6 million across 13 funding rounds from investors such as Alibaba, Dubai-based private equity investor Abraaj Capital, Sands Capital, International Finance Corp (IFC) and others. With this latest round of financing, the startup will attain a valuation of US$2.3 billion.

Founded in 2011, the Bangalore-based startup sells everything from fresh leafy vegetables to kitchen mops, spice mixes and savoury Indian tea-time snacks. BigBasket has also been trying to create in-house brands to help drive growth. This addition will help BigBasket in becoming more self-reliant while other players have to depend on kirana stores for their supply of these products.

Currently, BigBasket is India’s largest online grocery provider, delivering more than 20,000 products from nearly 1,000 brands.

BigBasket is the second Indian company to enter the unicorn club in less than a week with Guruguam-based Logistics startup Delhivery Pvt. Ltd joining on Sunday after raising US$413 million in its latest funding round led by Japanese investor SoftBank Vision Fund.

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