Flipkart, Walmart Raise Bet On India's Fresh Produce Market
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US retailer Walmart and e-commerce giant Flipkart have raised their bets on India’s fresh produce market, with a joint strategic investment in Ninjacart.
“The three partners aim to help ensure better access to high-quality fresh produce for more retailers and consumers across India while also creating economic opportunities for farmers,” the companies said in a statement on Wednesday.
Founded four years ago, Bengaluru-based Ninjacart works with more than 44,000 farmers across seven cities and connects them to a network of 60,000 kirana (local retail) stores and restaurants.
Ninjacart said it had been able to increase the net realized income of farmers that it works with by 15 per cent.
The deal is expected to close by the end of this year.
Ninjacart, which has a network of 200 collection centers and 1,200 warehouses, uses data analytics, mobile apps and internet of things to have a just-in-time supply chain that connects farmers and retailers.
The use of in-house tech helps the company reduce the time required for fresh produce to move from farm to store, while also allowing for transportation to happen at a temperature that reduces costs and prevents wastage.
“Ninjacart provides 100 per cent traceability along the supply chain and has slashed food wastage to less than 1 per cent compared to 35 per cent in traditional supply chains,” the statement said.
The company claims to be moving over 1,400 tonnes of fresh produce everyday, with volumes having doubled over the last four months.
Investment from Flipkart and Walmart
The investment will help Ninjacart expand to newer cities and broaden its customer base, while also exposing the company to global best practices to enhance efficiency.
The investment will strengthen Walmart India’s best price B2B cash-and-carry stores.
“We are working towards our commitment of sourcing 25% of produce in our best price cash-and-carry stores directly from farmers by 2023,” said Walmart India’s chief executive officer Krish Iyer.
For Flipkart, Ninjacart’s involvement would add to its online grocery store Supermart, which is locked in stiff competition with the likes of Amazon, Big Basket, and Grofers.
Last week, Flipkart led a series D round in logistics start-up Shadowfax, in an attempt to gain a stronghold in the hyperlocal market and accelerate delivery time for customers.