BigBasket joins the unicorn club with $150M in fresh funding from Alibaba, others

Online grocery platform BigBasket becomes the second startup in 2019 to join the coveted unicorn club with $150 million in fresh funding from Alibaba, Mirae Asset, and CDC Group.

Hari Menon, Co-founder and CEO, BigBasket

Online grocery platform BigBasket is raising $150 million in fresh funding from its largest shareholder Alibaba and new investors, South Korea’s Mirae Asset and UK’s CDC Group, at valuations that would make the e-grocer the second startup this year to join the coveted unicorn club.

BigBasket’s board approved an investment of $50 million from Alibaba, $59.9 million from Mirae Asset, and $40 million from UK government-owned CDC Group for the purpose of ‘future expansion,’ according to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies that were accessed by YourStory.

Last year, BigBasket’s valuation touched $950 million after it raised $300 million in funds from Alibaba and others. With the latest $150 million fund-raise – part of BigBasket’s series F fundraising round – the startup’s valuation crosses the $1 billion mark to help it assume unicorn status.

The fresh funding is expected to also help BigBasket fight competition from Gurgaon-based online grocery platform Grofers, Amazon Pantry, and Flipkart’s Supermart, as well as expand into new markets and grow its focus on hyperlocal delivery.

Also read: Why BigBasket is aggressively looking at the hyperlocal delivery space

As part of its push into the hyperlocal delivery space, BigBasket acquired Pune-based hyperlocal delivery startup RainCan and Bengaluru-based MorningCart last year. The Bengaluru-based company also launched BBDaily for daily hyperlocal deliveries, while its other service BBInstant serves daily needs at corporate offices and housing colonies via vending machines.

As per RoC filings, BigBasket’s board approved the issuance and allotment of 100 equity shares at $11.43 per share and 1.31 million Series F compulsory convertible preference shares at $114.29 each on a private placement basis.

The $59.9 million investment from Mirae Asset comprises $54.9 million from Mirae Asset – Naver Asia Growth Investment and $5 million from Mirae Asset GS Retail New Growth Fund I.

With the latest investments, Alibaba’s stake in BigBasket increases to 26.26 percent, while Mirae Asset will own a 5.31 percent stake and CDC Group a 3.54 percent stake in the startup, the filings show.

Also read: BigBasket’s tech leaders share why AI is a pivotal part of their solution toolkit to enhance customer experience

For fiscal 2018, revenue at BigBasket’s wholesale arm, Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Ltd, increased by 35 percent to Rs 1,606 crore, while losses narrowed by 53 percent to Rs 310 crore. The company’s retail arm, Innovative Retail, also saw a 29 percent increase in its revenue to Rs 1,410 crore, while losses narrowed to Rs 179 crore in fiscal 2018 from Rs 191 crore of loss a year earlier.

Earlier this month, Gurgaon-based logistics startup Delhivery became the first unicorn of 2019, with a valuation of $1.6 billion, after raising $395 million in its Series F round led by SoftBank and existing investors Carlyle Group and Fosun International.


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