BigBasket wraps up $150M for food delivery in India

Ronny Kerr · March 22, 2016 · Short URL:

Like an Instacart for India, BigBasket hopes to expand into even more cities across the region

Food tech may be a tough space, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do well in.

BigBasket, an online grocery shopping platform in India, announced this week that it has secured $150 million in new funding led by the Abraaj Group with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Helion Advisors as well as new investors International Finance Corp and Sands Capital.

The round’s leader, the Abraaj Group, is a private equity firm that manages $9.5 billion in assets through offices around the world. Its main regional hubs are in Mexico City, New York, London, Istanbul, Nairobi, Dubai, and Singapore.

Based in Bangalore, BigBasket is basically India’s version of Instacart. Customers can order over 18,000 products from over 1,000 brands, including everything from fruits and vegetables to rice, spices, and meat. When checking out, customers can choose the window of time when they’d like their order delivered, with time slots available in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Though it first started offering service in the city where it’s headquartered—Bangalore—the company now offers grocery delivery in several cities across India, including Mysore, Hyderabad, Vijayawada-Guntur, Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, Vadodara, Delhi and Lucknow. The new funding will help the service expand to even more cities.

Besides the healthy expansion across cities large and small, BigBasket says its services sees five million monthly unique visitors and carries out over a million orders per month. Additionally, the company's mobile app (available for both Android and iOS) has been downloaded by more than one million users.

The major funding news from BigBasket comes after a tumultuous couple weeks in the food tech and delivery space. Most relevant to BigBasket was the announcement from Ola Cabs earlier this month that the ridesharing company had decided to shutter Ola Café and Ola Store, its two food delivery apps that launched as experiments a year ago. The former was focused on delivering prepared meals, whereas the latter revolved around groceries.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the same week that brought the shutdown and then immediate acquisition of SpoonRocket (by Brazil’s food delivery service iFood), Uber announced that it was expanding the availability of UberEATS to more major cities. Though Uber competes heavily with Ola Cabs in India, the company told us it has “no immediate plans” to expand its food delivery service to India.

That’s not to say BigBasket is free of competition. Grofers, which has raised over $165 million, offers on-demand grocery delivery in 17 cities across India. Additionally, Amazon has run pilots in the region, though it's unclear how pervasive the service is in India today.

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