According to multiple unconfirmed media reports, online grocery platform BigBasket has reportedly received anywhere between $50-$60 million in a bridge round from existing investors. While the amount remains unconfirmed, co-founder Vipul Parekh has confirmed to TechCrunch that the round did happen. Alibaba and other existing investors including Mirae Asset and CDC Group participated in the proceedings.
The investment will be used to upscale infrastructure and supply chain to meet with the unprecedented surge in demand caused by nationwide Coronavirus lockdown in India. The amount is actually a part of a larger deal, which the startup is working on closing in the next few months. Investors seem to have provided some amount early to help tackle the demand.
This latest round builds on the $150 Million that BigBasket had raised last year as part of its Series F funding round. That round placed the startup in the coveted unicorn club with a $1.2 Billion valuation tag. It had also raised around $13 Mn in debt from venture debt provider Trifecta Capital last year.
While official numbers aren’t out yet, BigBasket has reportedly seen as many as 5 times more orders than usual, since the lockdown began. As a result, the short-term goal for the startup will be to employ additional workforce to deliver orders. But workers are hard to come by given many of them have moved to their native places owing to lack of work, Vipul said.
CEO of BigBasket Hari Menon had recently said that the firm was capable of handling around 300K orders per day for now, a significant boost from around 150K orders per day it was clocking before the lockdown. However, the company will be looking to ramp up the capacity as more and more turn to online groceries given the uncertainties around the continuation of the lockdown post the 21-day period.
Recently, BigBasket tied up with Uber and its two-wheeler alternative Rapido, to facilitate the delivery of essential items. Its rival Grofers has also inked similar deals, besides Amazon and Flipkart also in the fray, as the battle to dominate the e-grocer market heats up.