BigBasket.com , a Bangalore based online grocery store has got $10 million funding in the first round of funding from private equity firm Ascent Capital. BigBasket.com has been founded by VS Sudhakar, Hari Menon, Vipul Parekh, VS Ramesh and Abhinay Choudhari.
The team has both offline and online retail experience as they had set up India’s first e-commerce site FabMart.com in 1999, and then established the Fabmall-Trinethra chain of more than 200 grocery supermarket stores in southern India.
“Grocery is one of the largest categories in retail but also one of the most challenging ones. It requires very strong multi-disciplinary skills to make it work. Moreover, significant experience in the grocery business is a must, complemented by experience in e-commerce, and in setting up and running a very large and complex supply chain organisation. Our team has experience in all these areas”, said Hari Menon, co-founder and CEO of BigBasket.
With over 6,000 products, bigbasket.com covers all categories such as Staples & Provisions, Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Toiletries, Branded Food & Non-Food products, Bread & Bakery Products, Dairy Products, Frozen Foods such as Ice Creams & many more. According to BigBasket, the company’s orders have doubled every month since its launch. The latest round of funding will be used to increase capacity,service and merchandise selection. The firm also offers online and phone-based ordering options. BigBasket plans to expand to five cities by the end of this year.
For Ascent Capital, which manages $600 million across three funds, this is the first reported investment in a technology company after five years. In early 2007, it backed IT firms such as Zylog Systems, SemanticSpace and Spanco. Ascent has been investing in infrastructure plays like GMR Energy, IVRCL Assets & Holdings and Karaikal Port.
Raj Kondur, director of Ascent Capital, has joined the board of BigBasket. Kondur had also backed the same team in 1999 as part of ChrysCapital’sinvestment in Fabmall. “We are delighted to work with the BigBasket team to establish a leading position in the grocery retail business in India, which is a $160 billion opportunity.
As an early mover with significant traction and an experienced founding team, BigBasket has the potential to be the leader in this space. The success ofOcado and Tesco.com in the UK, Yihaodian in China and FreshDirect in the USA indicates that there is an untapped opportunity,” said Kondur.