Ninjacart, a Bangalore-based startup that has created a marketplace for marketing and delivery of agriculture produce, has raised $5.5 million (₹37 crore) in its latest round of funding. The investment was led by Accel Partners and Nandan Nilekani’s NRJN Trust.

Along with them, the round also witnessed participation from Japan-based Mistletoe, Qualcomm Ventures, and M&S Partners. The funding will now be used to expand its team and invest in supply chain automation, technology, and data science.

Talking about the investment, Nandan Nilekani, the founder of NRJN Trust, said in a statement:

Ninjacart aims to solve a very neglected problem specific to India. The team’s strong technology-first thinking enables the fruits and vegetables supply chain to be extremely cost efficient, thus improving farmer earnings and living standards.

The platform connects farmers to end retailers like grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants that buy fruits and vegetables. It also runs a logistics network that enables swift pickup and drop of farm produce. The company said that it ensures farmers are paid immediately without any commission or logistics fee.

Ninjacart claims to be connecting over 1,000 farmers to 500 retailers and restaurants in Bengaluru and plans to expand its reach to 2,000 businesses going forward. Its low-cost sourcing and delivery operations handle over 60 tonnes of produce every day.

Using technology-enabled supply chain model along with crates, the platform further claims that it reduces wastage to as low as 4%, as compared to 30% typically seen with traditional supply chain apparatus.

Sharath Loganathan, co-founder of the company, said:

We have invested a lot in ensuring our products are handled in the best possible way to ensure hygiene, which is missing in traditional supply chain… At Ninjacart, all vegetables are handled in crates which are cleaned frequently and follow a ‘one-touch’ handling method.

The company was founded by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Kartheeswaran K K, Ashutosh Vikram, Sachin P Jose, and Vasudevan Chinnathambi. They’ve worked with upstarts such as Commonfloor, Olacabs, HT Media, Verizon Labs, Taxiforsure, and others.

Launched back in May 2015, it was working as an on-demand grocery delivery service but later pivoted to a business-to-business (B2B) agri-marketing platform. In June last year, Accel Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, and Singapore-based M&S Partners along with Zop Smart had invested ₹20 crore in the company.

In this space, it competes against the likes of Bangalore-based Farmily, Farm Taaza, and Gurgaon- based fresh2all. Other players in this domain include MeraKisan, Vegfru, Lemon Leaf, DayBox, among others.

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