bigbasket

American e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. is in preliminary talks to buy the Indian grocery site BigBasket, as per the reports by ET and Livemint.

The talks about possible acquisition are at an early stage, the people said, asking not to be identified as the negotiations are private. This is however third time in this year when Bigbasket’s sale to Amazon was reported by any news source as earlier in March, this year, a similar report was circulated however Hari Menon, founder of Bigbasket, stopped the news from spreading further when, in an interview to Moneycontrol, he said that its – “Completely, untrue”.

The Bigbasket sale to Amazon has again surfaced today when news sources including Bloomberg reported about early stage discussion which may not lead to sale.

Backed by investors like Helion Venture, Brand Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners, BigBasket is run by Bengaluru-based SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt, and is India’s largest online grocer which operates in about 25 cities across the country.

Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has vowed to spend $5 billion in India in coming years as he competes against local rivals. Amazon’s success in the country has pushed the two largest domestic e-commerce players, Flipkart Ltd. and Snapdeal, into a preliminary agreement to combine.

Recently, Amazon India has sought approval to invest and partner with the government in food supply and may soon get $500 million FDI approval for food retailing in India. Amazon said in an email in February that it has sought a license for food retail trading from the government’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which oversees foreign investments into the country.

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Founded in October 2011 by Hari Menon, V.S. Sudhakar and Abhinay Choudhari, BigBasket has raised $150 million last year in a funding round led by Dubai’s Abraaj Group, and its backers also include Bessemer Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners. In March, BigBasket raised 450 million rupees ($7 million) in venture debt from Trifecta Capital to set up new warehouses and strengthen its delivery network.

So far Bigbasket has raised a total of $291.76 million in 8 rounds (till Series-E) from 11 investors.

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