With the Walmart-Flipkart as good as done and dusted, other players have to take a hard look at their own operations and devise ways to counter the effect of the might of the US retail giant while the other US giant Amazon is already flexing its muscles in the Indian retail market.
Both these large setups have made clear their intentions that grocery, foods and other home and kitchen needs segments will receive excessive focus going ahead and the one company that has to be really worried is BigBasket. The home-grown startup, which has been going hyper with its advertising campaign featuring Bollywood Superstar Shar Rukh Khan, has its task cut out when both Amazon and Flipkart go full steam ahead in the foreseeable future.
BigBasket is therefore readying itself for the fight and is out looking for a substantial funding to the tune of $500 million, reports Mint. And backing this effort would be the existing investor, Alibaba Group of China. BigBasket has already raised $300 million from Alibaba and some others in the last round.
While BigBasket is already the leader in its segment and may not immediately be in need of finance, the company may want to take benefit of the current ecosystem in India, where the VCs are vying with one another to fund startups.
Another reason for the funding exercise being attempted is that there a few areas of operations that BigBasket is trying to improve or introduce. One is the creation of an offline kiosks backbone that can take care of last mile deliveries in areas not being serviced currently. It may also introduce a subscription service for which a backend team and infrastructure will have to be put in place. There have been reports of the company taking over a couple of minor players in the segment; Milkbasket and DailyNinja are the two startups named in this list.
Another areas BigBasket is keen to work on is the 2-hour delivery system, particularly items of daily consumption, like milk, bread, vegetables etc.
The startup is close to becoming a Unicorn with its last valuation reaching $950 million. If Alibaba loosens its purse strings, BigBasket mat yet retain its position as the leader in the segments it is present in.