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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  NinjaCart raises $35 million from Accel, Syngeta Ventures

NinjaCart raises $35 million from Accel, Syngeta Ventures

NinjaCart plans to utilize the capital to expand operations to 10 cities and open 200 distribution centres

Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and chief executive of NinjaCart.Premium
Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and chief executive of NinjaCart.

New Delhi: NinjaCart, a marketing and delivery platform for agricultural produce, has raised $35 million (₹250 crore) in a Series B round led by Accel Partners (US) and Switzerland’s Syngeta Ventures, the company said on Wednesday.

New investors, including South Korean private equity firm Neoplux, founder of ZiGeXn Jo Hirao, Russian firm HR Capital and venture debt firm Trifecta Capital, also participated in the round. NinjaCart’s existing investors Accel India, Nandan Nilekani NRJN Trust, Misteltoe and Qualcomm Venture also contributed.

Mint first reported in October that NinjaCart is in advanced talks to raise $20-25 million from Accel Partners and two new investors. Till date, the Bengaluru-based company has raised over $49 million.

NinjaCart, run by Bengaluru based 63Ideas Infolabs Pvt. Ltd, plans to utilize the capital to expand operations to 10 cities, open over 200 distribution centres and invest in a better supply chain infrastructure.

The agri-tech start-up is currently operational in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.

“We are preparing for our launch in Mumbai and Delhi (by early next year) by hiring teams and building out facilities," said Vasudevan Chinnathambi, co-founder, NinjaCart, in an interview over the phone.

“We are hiring at leadership level (including VPs) and with multiple cities coming in the process, we need to be robust," he added.

Founded in 2015, NinjaCart connects farmers to end retailers such as grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants, which buy fruits and vegetables. It runs a logistics network enabling swift pickup and drop of farm produce.

The company’s low-cost sourcing and delivery operations handle more than 60 tonnes of produce every day. It claims to help farmers realize 15-20% more revenue than existing market rates.

Started by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Ashutosh Vikram, Kartheeswaran K.K., Sachin Jose and Sharath Loganathan, NinjaCart started as an on-demand grocery delivery service, before pivoting to a business-to-business agri-marketing platform.

It piloted a business-to-consumer model (franchised and owned) earlier this year, but plans to focus on acquiring new markets, Chinnathambi said.

“With the current round of financing we expect them (NinjaCart) to continue to scale rapidly, enter new cities, and enable direct relationships with farmers and shop owners across even more categories," said Subrata Mitra, partner, Accel India.

NinjaCart has a sourcing network of over 3,000 farmers across south India and serves 4,000 retailers every day. The start-up plans to connect with 10,000 retailers by March 2019.

“We are committed to supporting innovation that improves the livelihood and economic security of farmers across the globe," said Shubhang Shankar, investment manager, Syngeta Ventures.

NinjaCart competes with other agriculture-focused start-ups, including Gurugram-based CroFarm and IvyCap Ventures-backed Reuters Market Light, among others.

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Updated: 13 Dec 2018, 12:11 PM IST
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