As the competition intensifies in India’s soon-to-be USD 3 billion e-grocery-market with Reliance-owned JioMart rapidly scaling up operations, Alibaba-backed Bigbasket is looking to raise fresh funds to make sure it doesn’t lose its grip on the market.
The Bengaluru-based startup is in talks to raise up to USD 100 million led by Singapore’s Temasek, local media Entrackr reported.
“The talks have been on for the past few weeks. Temasek could invest anywhere between USD 50 to 70 million,” the report said, citing a source. “Existing investors including Mirae Asset and CDC Group are likely to join.”
In June, Bigbasket co-founder and chief executive Hari Menon told local media Times of India, that the company was looking to raise USD 250-300 million from new and existing investors, at a valuation between USD 1.5-2 billion.
“The valuation of Bigbasket will not see any significant increment. More or less it would be the same as the last round raised in April,” the report said, citing another source. The company is reportedly valued at USD 1.2 billion.
According to the business intelligence platform Crunchbase, Bigbasket has so far raised USD 1.1 billion in total.
This comes at a time when it has become difficult for the nine-year-old company to raise money from its biggest shareholder Alibaba after India tweaked the FDI norms earlier in April, making it mandatory for Chinese investors to get a clearance from the government before investing.
Just a week before India changed the FDI norms, Bigbasket had raised USD 50 million in debt funding from existing investor Alibaba Group. A week prior to this, it had announced an investment of USD 60 million as a part of a new bridge round from Alibaba, South Korea’s Mirae Asset, and UK-based CDC Group.
However, reportedly, before Alibaba could pump in money through the automatic route in that round, the regulations changed. In the later months, when tension between India and China escalated, it became even tougher for Chinese investors to get an approval from the Indian government.
With Chinese money having almost dried up in the country, Bigbasket, like other Chinese-backed companies, is looking at new overseas investors.