Godrej Group’s premium food products retailer Nature’s Basket has acquired Mumbai-based online grocery store Ekstop.com, reports Livemint. The financial details of the deal have not been revealed, though the report pegged deal value to be around Rs 30-40 crore.
The report also mentions that currently Nature’s Basket is working on rebranding and integrating Ekstop.com as its online platform. The Ekstop management team is expected to join Nature’s Basket and the new platform is expected to launch March 15.
The Ekstop website currently informs customers that:
We are upgrading our infrastructure and bringing thousands of more products , faster same-day delivery and other exciting services and updates that will amaze our customers. We will be in several more cities this upcoming year of 2015. Ekstop will be ready to serve the customers in an all-new upgraded form shortly. Meanwhile, we sincerely apologize for any disruption in service over the next few days.
Interestingly, Nature’s Basket already allows consumers to shop online. It has 32 physical stores in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi NCR and Hyderabad, and provides home delivery of products bought online in these cities. So, the Ekstop acquisition seems more like an acqui-hire.
In January last year, Ekstop had raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Unilazer Ventures, UTV founder Ronnie Screwvala’s investment company. At the time, media reports had suggested that Unilazer had picked up a 25% stake in the company. This followed an undisclosed amount of angel funding raised in June 2012 from a clutch of investors, including Jungle Ventures, Jayesh Parekh, cofounder of Sony Entertainment Television; Deepak Shahdadpuri, head of Beacon India Private Equity Fund; Patrick Turner who runs the entrepreneurship department at INSEAD; Pangea3 CEO Sanjay Kamlani and senior Google and McKinsey executives.
Founded in early 2012 by Sumat Chopra and Shaurya Mehta, currently offers services only in Mumbai and has partnerships with more than 500 brands for daily essentials such as groceries, household supplies (kitchen and homeware, electrical products), personal care products, healthcare products and stationery. It claims to offer delivery between one and four hours and also offers an option to schedule deliveries at a convenient time. The company had reported a loss of Rs 63.7 lakh in FY-14, and its overall revenue was Rs 3.93 crore.
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Mahindra Group had acquired baby products e-tailer BabyOye for an undisclosed amount. Mahindra Retail also operates the Mom&Me chain of stores that sells children and maternity products.
Snapdeal partnership: Last month, Nature’s Basket had tied-up with Snapdeal to make available various gourmet products via the e-commerce platform. As of now products over 400 products in various categories including Indian groceries, international groceries, beverages, nuts and dry fruits, confectionery, chocolates and desserts, snacks and dips, spreads and jams from Nature’s Basket are available on Snapdeal.
– Last year in November, Reliance Industries’ retail arm Reliance Retail had launched an e-commerce store called RelianceFreshDirect.com to delivery grocery products in some neighborhoods of Mumbai. The platform sells vegetables, fruits, groceries, dairy products, confectionery products, packaged food and personal care products to the residents of Navi Mumbai, South Mumbai and parts of Thane, similar to Ekstop.
– Earlier in April, Tradus.com, which has pivoted to a grocery-only marketplace, had started selling groceries by tying up with local sellers.