Milkbasket, a micro delivery platform for groceries, has secured a $3 million investment in a Pre-Series A Round from Unilever Ventures, the investment arm of FMCG major Unilever, and its existing investors.
The company said that they will use the fresh capital to strengthen its technology, expand their assortment & customer base and monetising other streams of revenues.
This infusion of investment looks like a trance of its ‘Pre-Series A’ funding round of $500,000 led by Blume Ventures and Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group (LCIG) in August 2017. A week after of which, EVC Ventures, a venture capital fundraiser and accelerator based in Chicago, sold their stake from Milkbasket, and said that they earned an internal rate of return of 200%, within a year of its investment.
Based out of Gurgaon/NCR, Milkbasket was founded by Anant Goel, Ashish Goel, Anurag Jain and Yatish Talvadia in 2015. Initially only offering milk, the subscription-based delivery platform now provides about 5,000 products and serves over 15 clusters across Gurgaon, each cluster has a base of around 500 customers. The company registers pre-paid 5,000 orders in a day, which can be amended till midnight before the delivery is scheduled, and the delivery can be scheduled anytime between 4am to 7am. Milkbasket follows the hybrid business model, in which products are sourced from neighbourhood stores, in addition to the company’s own stock.
The hyper-local grocery delivery has been seeing a lot of action including from big players. Milkbasket will have to battle with players like Amazon, Grofers, BigBasket, and probably Flipkart too.
Amazon has committed $500 million investment in food retail, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) had approved Amazon’s plans to stock and sell local grocery produce online in April 2017. The e-tailer will reportedly start selling local grocery produce online through its wholly owned subsidiary in India from March. Amazon already operates its grocery service online via Amazon Pantry, a service which delivers household items and grocery with a presence in 34 cities. On the other hand, the grocery delivery service Amazon Now, which was launched in Bengaluru last year as Kirana Now, is currently available in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Besides this, Flipkart is giving online grocery selling a second try with ‘Supermart’ in Bangalore. It had shut down its earlier service Flipkart Nearby in February 2016, nearly 5 months after its launch.
In a separate development, Online classified service Quikr is also experimenting online grocery business. However, Quickr’s spokesperson said that the company is experiment this and is still unsure whether it is going to enter online grocery space or not.
In October 2017, Bangalore-based BigBasket raised Rs 32.65 crore from Helion Venture Partners, which was immediately it raised Rs 5.5 Crore from its existing investor Trifecta Capital in the same month. And at the same time, Grofers too raised funding of Rs 96 crore from its Singapore-based parent company Grofers International.
See our coverage of Online Grocery.