B2B Agri-Marketing Platform Ninjacart Raises $5.5M from Accel Partners, Nandan Nilekani’s NRJN Trust & Others

Ninjacart helps 1000+ farmers to sell more than 80+ vegetables and fruits every day to 500+ retailers and restaurants in Bangalore.

Ninjacart, Indian B2B agri-marketing platform that connects farmers to businesses, has raised Rs. 37 Cr ($5.5 million) from Accel Partners, Nandan Nilekani’s NRJN Trust, Mistletoe, Qualcomm Ventures and M&S Partners. Ninjacart will primarily use the funds to expand its team and invest in supply chain automation, technology and data science.

Ninjacart helps 1000+ farmers to sell more than 80+ vegetables and fruits every day to 500+ retailers and restaurants in Bangalore. Ninjacart picks up the produce from farmer’s fields and delivers it to the doorstep of businesses. Ninjacart has perfected its sourcing and operations for scale and lower cost. It is poised to grow exponentially in the next 6 months with its cash and carry model and targets to serve 2000+ businesses, while ensuring sustainable growth, profitability and more value for farmers.

“Though we have very high demand for our service from both farmers and businesses, in the last one year, we relentlessly focused on building a cost efficient, reliable and scalable supply chain that can handle 300+ tons a day. We overhauled our entire organisation and systems keeping cost and speed at the centre. Today, we move 60+ tons of produce a day from farm to store in less than 14 hours at a cost lower than traditional supply chains” said Thirukumaran, CEO & Co-founder of Ninjacart

Ninjacart started in 2015 as an on-demand grocery delivery company, but soon realized that the back-end supply chain of fruits and vegetables is highly inefficient and broken. To solve a bigger problem, it pivoted to an end-to-end B2B agri marketing platform. Today, Ninjacart is a passionate team of 170+ people working hard to help farmers and transform the way vegetables and fruits reach our plate.

Being the initial backer, Subrata Mitra, Partner at Accel Partners said, “In a short span of 12 months, after a complete pivot from B2C to B2B, Ninjacart has become a leading player in a massive market. We are excited to continue our commitment and support in their next phase of growth.”

In geographies, where Ninjacart operates, farmers have started seeing the impact. Traditionally, due to marginal farming, poor logistics and lack of market information, numerous middlemen were involved in getting the produce from farm to store. As a result, farmer gets one third of what the end consumer pays. Ninjacart solves this problem by enabling farmers to sell directly to businesses, thereby maximising farmer’s income. In certain villages, farmers have seen their income almost double in the last one year.

Ninjacart also ensures farmers get their payment immediately into their bank account without any commission or logistics fee. This has helped farmers avoid borrowing money from Mandis, who hold their produce captive and pay low prices or from local money lenders, who charge exorbitant interest

Nandan Nilekani excited about the model said, "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. Despite limited cold chain facilities in India, the team has built a Just-In-Time logistics system, with which they are able to get the produce from farm to stores in less than 14 hours.”

In India, 30% of vegetables and fruits get wasted because of inefficient supply chain and broken agri-marketing ecosystem, but Ninjacart has less than 4% wastage in the entire supply chain. Handling and quality is one of the key differentiator at Ninjacart. “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” says Sharath, Co-founder of Ninjacart. “If you visit the city markets early morning, you will be shocked to see the way vegetables are stored and handled. At Ninjacart, all vegetables are handled in crates which are cleaned frequently and follow a “One-touch” handling method”.

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