India’s largest online retailer Flipkart and global retail major Walmart Inc. have jointly invested an undisclosed amount in Bengaluru-based fresh produce startup Ninjacart. Walmart, which also owns Flipkart, said the move will ensure the Indian farmer gets more economic opportunities, while retailers and consumers get better access to high-quality fresh produce.

Partnering with Ninjacart will allow Walmart and Flipkart to strengthen direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores, and Flipkart’s online grocery business, Supermart, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2019.

The investment will also help Ninjacart grow its customer base and reach new cities.

“As a homegrown e-commerce company, it is in our DNA to drive change and solve complex local problems in-house through technology…. we have focused on creating the right infrastructure, supporting local farmers, producers and food processors, and building sustainability into the ecosystem, all while creating thousands of new jobs and bringing quality, convenience and value to consumers,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.

Founded in 2015, Ninjacart uses big data, predictive analytics, mobile applications and the Internet of Things for its supply chain connecting farmers to retailers through over 200 collection centres and 1,200 warehouses. It claims to transport over 1,400 tonnes of fresh produce daily, and doubled its volumes in the last four months.

Ninjacart’s CEO and co-founder Thirukumaran Nagarajan said the support of Flipkart and Walmart will let the startup explore new possibilities to improve the lives of farmers, retailers and restaurant partners.

This deal resonates well with Walmart’s aim to source a quarter of produce for its Best Price cash-and-carry stores directly from farmers by 2023.

“Our partnership with Ninjacart will help us create more opportunities for smallholder farmers while improving access to high-quality produce for our members…,” said Krish Iyer, president and CEO, Walmart India.

 

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