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Ninjacart raises Rs37 crore from Nandan Nilekani’s trust, others

LiveMint logoLiveMint 11-04-2017 Yuvraj Malik

New Delhi: Ninjacart, a marketing and delivery platform for agriculture produce, run by Bengaluru-based Ideas Infolabs Pvt. Ltd, on Tuesday said it has raised Rs37 crore from Accel Partners, NRJN Trust, Mistletoe, Qualcomm Ventures and M&S Partners.

Follow-on investors Accel Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Singapore-based M&S Partners had invested Rs20 crore in the company in July 2016.

Ninjacart will use fresh funds to expand its team and invest in supply chain automation, technology and data science.

The platform connects farmers to end retailers like grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants that buy fruits and vegetables. It runs a logistics network that enables swift pickup and drop of farm produce.

“Ninjacart aims to solve a very neglected problem specific to India. The team’s strong technology-first thinking enables the fruits and vegetables supply chain to be extremely cost efficient, thus improving farmer earnings and living standards,” said Nandan Nilekani, the founder of NRJN Trust, in a statement.

Ninjacart connects over 1,000 farmers to 500 retailers and restaurants in Bengaluru and plans to expand its reach to 2,000 businesses going forward. Its low-cost sourcing and delivery operations handle over 60 tonnes of produce every day.

This eliminates various middlemen in the sourcing process, which delivers better earnings to farmers. Besides, through technology-enabled supply chain and use of crates, the platform reduces wastage to as low as 4%, as compared to 30% typically seen with traditional supply chain apparatus.

“We have invested a lot in ensuring our products are handled in the best possible way to ensure hygiene, which is missing in traditional supply chain... At Ninjacart, all vegetables are handled in crates which are cleaned frequently and follow a ‘one-touch’ handling method,” said Sharath Loganathan, a co-founder in the company.

Ninjacart was founded in May 2015 as an on-demand grocery delivery service, but later pivoted to a business-to-business agri-marketing platform. The six members of its founding team earlier worked in companies like Taxiforsure, Ola, Commonfloor and Verizon.

The team includes Loganathan and Thirukumaran Nagarajan, graduates from the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, who previously developed EduRat, an education information platform based out of Chennai, and location-based social network application Shout App.

At least two co-founders are from Taxiforsure, which was sold to Ola in 2015. Ninjacart lists Taxiforsure co-founder Raghunandan G. as an advisor and mentor

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