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12/14/2021

Walmart invests in Indian agriculture platform to support Flipkart

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walmart
Walmart is increasing its investments in Indian technology.

Walmart is continuing to invest in Indian digital commerce technology, with an eye toward bolstering its Flipkart subsidiary’s fresh produce supply chain.

The discount titan, which led a $1.2 billion financing round in July 2020 to obtain a 77% majority share in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart and participated in a new $3.6 billion round of funding in Amazon’s biggest competitor in India in July 2021, is making a strategic joint investment with Flipkart into Indian agricultural supply chain technology platform Ninjacart.

The investment of $145 million from Flipkart and Walmart will help support Ninjacart’s efforts to organize millions of Indian agricultural value chain participants, including farmers, resellers, retailers, consumers, and supply chain partners. The companies also hope the investment will ultimately strengthen Flipkart’s ability to efficiently fulfill online fresh produce orders across India.

Flipkart offers grocery products in 1,800 Indian cities & towns and aims to take its offering to 2,000 more towns by mid-2022. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be an integral part of the expansion. Flipkart is also working to bring efficiencies to the community e-grocery shopping model.

Ninjacart has been investing in tech platforms and supply chain infrastructure to improve the efficiency of the Indian agricultural supply chain over the past two years. Earlier this year, Ninjacart signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare to strengthen market linkages and promote best practices in the farming sector. Ninjacart seeks to create and host an Agri Marketplace Platform (AMP), which will allow Indian farmers to earn a fair price for their output, offer consumers better food, and create value for all agricultural supply chain participants.

“As a homegrown company, we have constantly focused on creating the right infrastructure and technological solutions that support local farmers, producers, and food processors,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group. “With this investment, we are further able to strengthen our grocery footprint and offering as consumers across the country throng to e-grocery for quality and affordable options in the fresh category. Through technology, we are able to bring great efficiencies in the value chain and create an impact by providing the farming community additional opportunities for better income. Our investment and partnership in Ninjacart over the years is a testament to the continued commitment and success we have seen in our endeavor to create a democratic and organized agriculture market. At Flipkart, we are well poised and committed to building a sustainable ecosystem for fresh produce and uplift the communities associated with it in the process.”

“The funds will enable us to dream beyond organizing the farmer-to-retailer ecosystem to a much larger goal of organizing the complete agri ecosystem and enabling transparent commerce,” said Thirukumaran Nagarajan, co-founder and CEO, Ninjacart. “We are ecstatic that Flipkart and Walmart continue to partner with us in making this vision a reality by believing in our technological expertise and core values. India is at a cusp of formalizing the agriculture industry, with the advent to better road connectivity, seamless payments, digital infrastructure, etc. This opens up a tremendous opportunity to organize our agri ecosystem landscape like never before. We are investing in this huge potential to create value. The funds will be deployed to build world-class teams, scalable tech platforms to organize, and grow the network.”