Walmart and Flipkart have announced a joint strategic investment in Bengaluru-based fresh produce supply chain company Ninjacart. The partnership will help Walmart and Flipkart strengthen direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and Flipkart’s online grocery business Supermart.
The companies said in a joint statement that together, they “aim to help ensure better access to high-quality fresh produce for more retailers and consumers across India while also creating economic opportunities for farmers.”
The investment will also support Ninjacart to expand its customer base, reach new cities and gain exposure to global best practice to enhance the efficiency of the local fresh produce ecosystem.
“Developing Flipkart Supermart over the past year, we have focused on creating the right infrastructure, supporting local farmers, producers and food processors, and building sustainability into the ecosystem, all while creating thousands of new jobs and bringing quality, convenience and value to consumers. In Ninjacart, we see a company that shares our values, our pioneering mindset and our commitment to tech-driven innovation that improves life in India,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said.
Ninjacart was founded in 2015. It uses supply chain algorithms it developed in-house, leverages big data, predictive analytics, mobile applications and the Internet of Things to power a just-in-time supply chain that connects farmers to retailers via a network of more than 200 collection centers and 1,200 warehouses across India. It moves over 1,400 tons of fresh produce per day, having doubled its volumes in the last four months.
Krish Iyer, President and CEO, Walmart India said, “Ninjacart’s focus on direct-from-farm sourcing resonates well with Walmart’s commitment to supporting farmers in India. We are working towards our commitment of sourcing 25% of produce in our Best Price cash-and-carry stores directly from farmers by 2023. This would help accelerate market access for them and reduce transportation costs. Our new partnership with Ninjacart will help us create more opportunities for smallholder farmers and boost rural incomes while also improving access to high-quality produce for all our members including kiranas, hotels, restaurants and businesses around India.”
As per a statement from the company, Ninjacart’s paperless supply chain creates a seamless link between its more than 44,000 farmer suppliers and its customer base of 60,000 kirana stores and restaurants across seven cities.
“The efficiency of the system allows Ninjacart to dramatically reduce the time for produce to travel from farm to store and to allow transportation at ambient temperature to reduce costs and prevent food waste. Ninjacart provides 100% traceability along the supply chain and has slashed food wastage to less than 1%, compared to 35% in traditional supply chains,” it added.
Over the last two years, Ninjacart claims to have been able to improve the net realized income of its farmers by 15%, with payments made into farmer bank accounts within 24 hours of produce pickup.
“Ninjacart wants to make food safer and more accessible, while ensuring a fair price for everyone involved. We are excited that Flipkart and Walmart are joining us to make this vision a reality and showing confidence in our technology and business model. With their support, we see new possibilities to improve the lives of our farmers, retailers and restaurant partners,” Thirukumaran Nagarajan, CEO and Co-founder of Ninjacart said in a statement.
The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2019.