Big Basket has raised Rs 45 crores as venture debt from Trifecta Capital. The company intends to use the funds to set up new warehouses, facilities for reprocessing of fruits and vegetables, strengthening its cold chain and other capital expenditure. The company is in the last leg of a pilot which will ensure that all fruits and vegetables are maintained at constant temperature and thereby improve shelf-life of the produce by almost 10 days. This will be done using large scale equipment such as pre-cooler and ventilators, notes Hari Menon, Co-Founder, SuperMarket Grocery Supplies which operates Big Basket. Funding such capex requirements, he says, is best done through debt.

Though the company has access to equity capital, it is also looking to optimize its capital structure, says Vipul Parekh, CFO & Co-Founder, SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd. “Venture debt is much cheaper than equity, especially on a post-tax basis and will help reduce our overall cost of capital. Also, it comes without any end use restrictions,” adds Parekh.

In March 2016, Big Basket had raised $150 million in a round of funding led by Abraaj Group with participation from International Finance Corporation and Sands Capital among others. Earlier, the company had raised $50 million in a round of funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners at a $400 million valuation in August 2015. Prior to that, the company also raised $3 million from a Singapore-based private investor. In March 2012, Big Basket had raised $10 million from Ascent Capital in its first round of funding. The other investors in the company include Helion Ventures and Abraaj Capital.

Started by Hari Menon, V Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, VS Ramesh and Abhinay Choudhari in 2011, Big Basket is headquartered in Bangalore. It is currently present in 25 cities including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Delhi, Noida, Mysore, Coimbatore, Vijayawada-Guntur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, Lucknow-Kanpur, Gurgaon, Vadodara, Visakhapatnam, Surat, Nagpur, Patna, Indore, Chandigarh Tricity, Jaipur, Bhopal, Ludhiana and Jalandhar. The company claims to stock over 18,000 products and 1000 brands including fresh fruits and vegetables, rice and daals, spices and seasonings to packaged bread, bakery and dairy products.