Online grocery store BigBasket raises Rs 200-crore funding

Bangalore based online grocery store BigBasket (Innovative Retail Concepts Private Limited) has received funding of Rs 200 crore (around $33 Mn) in a round led by venture capital firms Helion and Zodius Fund II with Avendus. Existing investors Ascent Capital and LionRock Capital also participated in the round which saw the valuation of the two-year-old startup cross $100 million (Rs 600 crore).

Bigbasket.com, which currently catering to cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad only, will now use the funds to expand to 10 cities by December next year. It plans to expand to Pune and Delhi within six months.

"This money will help us to invest in new technologies to improve customer experience," said Sudhakar, cofounder of BigBasket. "Using data analytics we would now be able to predict customer shopping habits and requirement." BigBasket.com is a second coming for Sudhakar and five other friends. They had launched online retail website Fabmart in 1999, but could not move the mass market in terms of volumes.

Till now, Big-Basket has raised total funding of Rs 278 crore and competing with more than a dozen of online grocery stores, including ZopNow, Aaram-Shop, and Farm2Kitchen.

BigBasket.com claims to be India's largest online food and grocery store. With over 10,000 products and over a 1000 brands in its catalogue, right from fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Rice and Dals, Spices and Seasonings to Packaged products, Beverages, Personal care products, Meats.

In December 2011, V S Sudhakar, Hari Menon, Vipul Parekh and V S Ramesh launched BigBasket in Bangalore. The idea was seeded by serial entrepreneurs and angel investors Krishnan and Meena Ganesh. This wasn't the founder team's first e-commerce venture. In 1999-2000, it had started a company called Fabmart. The Bangalore- based firm sold various products online - music, books, groceries, etc. However, given the low internet penetration in India at that time, the venture failed. In 2003, Fabmart was rebranded as Fabmall and launched as an offline grocery store. Subsequently, it was acquired by the Aditya Birla group and is now called More. The online entity was acquired and merged with US-based Indiaplaza.

The company, which has crossed annual revenue of Rs 250 crore and is growing 10 per cent each month, relies heavily on technology solutions to track every process from the time an order is placed.

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