Milkbasket, a micro-delivery platform for groceries, has secured Series A funding of $7 million led by Kalaari Capital with participation from Singapore based BeeNext and its existing investors, Unilever Ventures and Blume Ventures.

The company said that it will use these funds for further to strengthen its supply chain efficiencies & last mile logistics and improve customer experience. The startup also plans to expand into other geographies while penetrating deeper in existing communities. Anant Goel, CEO at Milkbasket added that this funding will help the company to continue investing in the 3Ts – talent, technology and territory.

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 40,000 households in 180+ communities in Gurgaon. 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 4 am to 7 am. Milkbasket follows the hybrid business model,  in which products are sourced from neighbourhood stores, in addition to the company’s own stock.

Previous Funding

In January, it 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. In August 2017, it received $500,000  led by Blume Ventures and Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group (LCIG). 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.

Competition

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.

Online classified service Quikr is also experimenting online grocery business. However, Quikr’s spokesperson said that the company is experiment this and is still unsure whether it is going to enter online grocery space or not.

Food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy is too reportedly diversifying its hyperlocal delivery segment by adding groceries and medicines with the service called ‘Dash’, and is expected to start its pilot operations in next few months. The service apparently aims to utilise its delivery workforce of 30,000 people especially between 2 pm to 6 pm, which are usually lean hours.

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.