Bengaluru: Walmart and its Indian arm Flipkart on Wednesday jointly invested in fresh produce supply chain startup Ninjacart, to modernise fresh produce market to benefit consumers, retailers and farmers.
“As a homegrown e-commerce company, it is in our DNA to drive change and solve complex local problems in-house through technology. In Ninjacart, we see a company that shares our values, our pioneering mindset and our commitment to tech-driven innovation that improves life in India,” said Flipkart Group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy in a statement.
With the new agreement, Walmart, Flipkart and Ninjacart aim to offer better access of high quality fresh produce to more retailers and consumers in the country even as they economically empower farmers.
Ninjacart offers business to business (B2B) supply chain infrastructure and technology solutions with traceability feature.
The startup deploys sophisticated supply chain algorithms, harvesting big data, predictive analytics, mobile applications and internet of things (IoT) to propel a just in time supply chain, connecting farmers, retailers, 200 collection centres and 1,200 warehouses throughout India.
Operating paperless, Ninjacart transports up to 1,400 tonnes of fresh produce in a day, forming a link between 44,000 farmer suppliers, 60,000 kirana stores and restaurants.
Ninjacart helps reduce the transit time of produce from farms to store at ambient temperature, slashing cost and lessening food waste in India which lacks cold chain infrastructure.
With the freshly infused funds, Ninjacart will expand its customer base, geographical reach and learn global best practices to better local fresh produce ecosystem.
Additionally, partnering with Ninjacart will bolster sourcing for Walmart’s Best Price B2B cash and carry stores and Flipkart’s direct online grocery business Supermart.
Krish Iyer, president and chief executive of Walmart India said, “Ninjacart’s focus on direct-from-farm sourcing resonates well with Walmart’s commitment to supporting farmers in India.” Iyer said Walmart’s Best Price has set a target to source 25 per cent produce directly from farmers by 2023.
“Ninjacart wants to make food safer and more accessible, while ensuring a fair price for everyone involved. We are excited that Flipkart and Walmart are joining us to make this vision a reality,” said Ninjacart chief executive and co-founder Thirukumaran Nagarajan.
However, no financial details of the investment were disclosed by the retail giants.
Based in Bengaluru, Ninjacart was founded in 2015 by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan and Vasudevan Chinnathambi.