“This is the largest venture debt transaction in the country…The funds will be used to meet the working capital and capex requirements of the company,” a statement said.
This includes setting up new warehouses, strengthening the cold chain, facilities for reprocessing of fruits and vegetables and for scaling-up of its supply chain for the recently launched milk subscription business – BB Daily and its specialty vending machine business – BB Instant, it added.
In April, BigBasket raised $40 million from CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance institution. The funding was part of a bigger round of $150 million that BigBasket is raising at a valuation of $1.2 billion, making it the latest entrant to India’s coveted unicorn club of startups.
“We have a clearly identified use case for debt. We are present in 26 cities and continue to optimise our supply chain. A significant part of our business is fresh fruits and vegetables, the bulk of which is sourced directly from farms. It is crucial that we maintain the quality right up to the last mile. Funding such capex requirements is best done through debt,” SGS co-founder Hari Menon said.
Bigbasket, which has raised about USD 150 million from South Korea’s Mirae Asset Management, UK’s CDC Group, and existing investor Alibaba earlier this year, had taken venture debt from Trifecta Capital in 2017. It competes with SoftBank-backed Grofers as well as Amazon.in and Walmart-owned Flipkart.
“…(we) realised that it was a more optimal form of financing for working capital and capex. Venture Debt not only reduces dilution for all shareholders, it reduces cost of capital, improves ROE and expands runway. We recently raised USD 150 million from marquee investors and decided to supplement the equity capital with additional Venture Debt…we hope to be able to leverage their (Trifecta) Bank/Non-Bank relationships for our future fund requirements,” SGS co-founder and CFO Vipul Parekh said.
Bigbasket was founded in December 2011 and has operations spread across 26 Indian cities. It is backed by investors like Bessemer Venture Partners, Helion Ventures, Ascent Capital, Sands Capital, Alibaba, CDC and Mirae. PTI SR