UAE's Abraaj Group, others pour nearly Rs1,000 cr into Big Basket

Grocery delivery chain BigBasket has raised $150 million (Rs997.91 crore) in fresh funding from the UAE's Abraaj Group and other investors to help it expand into smaller cities.

In a statement, Abraaj announced that it led a $150-million round of fundraising for BigBasket, the online grocery delivery service company. "The capital raise saw the entry of new investors such as the International Finance Corporation and Sands Capital and participation from existing investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, Helion Advisors, Zodius Capital and Ascent Capital," it said.

Abraaj has been present in India since 2006 and the partnership with BigBasket marks its third investment in India over the past five months, with previous transactions including Care Hospitals and the development of a gigawatt-scale renewable energy platform in partnership with the Aditya Birla Group.

Founded in 2011, Bengaluru-based BigBasket currently operates in eight metro cities and 10 tier-II cities. The company sells over 19,000 products across 1,000 brands, including fruits, vegetables, meat, beverages and personal care products.

" averages five million monthly unique visitors and executes over one million orders per month. The company's mobile application has been downloaded by more than a million users," the statement said.

Abraaj also said BigBasket is continuing to deliver strong growth, with a five-fold increase in monthly revenues over the last 18 months, supported by supply chain optimisation and an increased proportion of high margin private label products.

Own brand products currently account for 33 per cent of revenue and are projected to reach 40 per cent by the end of this year. "The proceeds of this round of fundraising will be used to finance BigBasket's growth through further penetration into existing markets, expansion into tier-II cities across India, scaling-up of its recently launched express delivery and specialty store business that caters to top-up and emergency purchases, and increasing the product range offered to customers," the statement said.

Commenting on the investment, Omar Lodhi, Partner and Head of Asia for The Abraaj Group, said the group "will leverage its strong experience in the consumer sector to enable BigBasket to further enhance its strong domestic position".

The Abraaj Group has been present in Asia for over a decade and deployed $1.4 billion in the region to date in a range of sectors including healthcare, financial services, logistics, consumer goods, and food and beverage.