Bigbasket said to be looking to raise $150 million next year

Formal fund raising process to begin after March, may be Bigbasket’s last round before an IPO


Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bigbasket, the online grocer which raised $150 million in March, will approach investors again to raise an equal amount of money early next year, according to two people aware of ongoing discussions.

“Bigbasket currently has cash to sustain for the next 18 months,” one of the two people cited above said, requesting anonymity. “The formal fund raising process will begin post March but talks are currently underway to finalize the exact quantum of funds, which in all likelihood is going to be $150 million and will possibly be the last round before an IPO.”

The company raised $150 million in March amid a funding slowdown even as rivals PepperTap and Localbanya shut down.

Hari Menon, chief executive officer of Bigbasket, confirmed that the next fund raising will happen after March but declined to say how much the company was planning to raise.

“It’s still very early to talk about it and we have not decided on any funding figure yet but we do plan to start the fund raising process after March 2017,” Nair said.

“Also, I am not in a position to say whether we will go for an IPO or not after the next round,” he added.

Bigbasket, which has recently broken even in the Bengaluru market, will use the cash from its next round to develop its private label brands, the two people cited above said.

“The share of private labels in the company’s revenue has been growing steadily and has significantly added to its margins,” the second person said, also requesting anonymity.

“Bigbasket made close to Rs750 crore in the last financial year from private label sales alone,” the person said. “Bigbasket plans to use the additional funds to improve its private label offering and operationally break even in all tier I cities,” the person added.

According to a Mint report on 13 October, Bigbasket operates 25 warehouses and 63 dark stores (storage facilities).

The company claims to have 3 million repeat customers and is targeting revenue of Rs1,800 crore in fiscal year 2017.

In March, Bigbasket raised funds from new investors including private equity firm Abraaj Group, venture capital firm Sands Capital Management Llc and International Finance Corp., the private sector lending arm of the World Bank. Existing investors Helion Ventures Partners Llc, Bessemer Venture Partners Lp and Ascent Capital Llc also participated in the round. The company has raised close to $296 million till date.

Bigbasket’s proposed fund raising comes at a time when investors have turned cautious about investing in start-ups. Start-ups in India have raised just $2.95 billion in the first half of 2016, lower than the $3.52 billion investors put in start-ups in the year-ago period, according to news and opinion site Trak.in.

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