A Comprehensive Case Study of BigBasket Online Grocery: 2021

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BigBasket Logo


BigBasket is India’s biggest online store for grocery shopping. It was founded by V.S. Sudhakar,  Hari Menon,  Vipul Parekh,  Abhinay Choudhari and  V.S. Ramesh in 2011. The central office is located in Bangalore.

Core team of BigBasket Online Grocery store
Core team of BigBasket Online Grocery store

BigBasket online grocery currently operates from Banglore, Mumbai, and Hyderabad and provides their services in 22 different cities in India. With more than 18000 grocery products and 1000 brands featuring on BigBasket.

Their product categories consist of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Grocery and Staples, Bread Dairy and Eggs, Beverages, Branded Foods, Personal Care, Households etc.

History of BigBasket Online Grocery

It was the year 1999 when Hari Menon along with his friends—V.S. Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Abhinay Choudhari and V.S. Ramesh launched their online retail website called ‘Fabmart’. Initially, they managed to get some footing; however, social media and shoppable social media were still not commonly present in that period; this made their idea way ahead of its time and thus, they could not change the mindset of masses.

They decided to start their online business again and focused all the energies on ‘Fabmall’, their physical retail chain of grocery stores. They also merged this chain with another grocery retail chain called ‘Trinethra’.

Within a period of seven years, they expanded their business to 200 stores across Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. At that point of time they decided to sell their business to Aditya Birla Group but Krishnan Ganesh, an entrepreneur, concluded to go ahead with it. And finally in December 2011, they launched BigBasket.com.

Funding of BigBasket Online Grocery

Funding of BigBasket Online Grocery
Funding of BigBasket Online Grocery

They received their first funding of $10million from ChrysCapital co-founder Raj Kondur and Ascent Capital.

After that, there were 15+ funding rounds of more than $100 million in the whole year of 2014. By next couple of years, BigBasket highest fund raising was 150 million dollars in March 2016 led by Abraaj Capital in its Series D of funding. Some of the other investors are Bessemer Ventures, Helion, Zodius and existing investors who participated including Ascent Capital, Lion Rock Capital and Ganesh Krishnan and Meena Ganesh.

It has got the unicorn status in 2019. BigBasket has raised a total of $1.1B in funding over 17 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Apr 15, 2020 from a Debt Financing round.

Here is the details of the funding raised by BigBasket till the year 2020:

March 2012Series A$10 MillionAscent Capital
April 2014Bridge Round$3 MillionSingapore-based private investor
September 2014Series B$33 MillionHelion Venture Partners
August 2015Series C$50 MillionBessemer Venture Partners
March 2016Series D$150 MillionAbraaj Group
March 2017Debt Financing$6.9 MillionTrifecta Capital Advisors
September 2017Series E$280 MillionAlibaba Group, Paytm Mall
October 1, 2017Venture Round$5 MillionBessemer Venture Partners
October 10, 2017Debt Financing$838.1KTrifecta Capital Advisors
October 25, 2017Venture Round$4.3 MillionHelion Ventures Partners
February 2018Series E$300 MillionAlibaba Group
January 2019Venture RoundGrowth Story
May 2019Series F$150 MillionMirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund
July 2019Debt Financing$14 MillionTrifecta Capital
April 9, 2020Venture Round$60 MillionAlibaba Group
April 15, 2020Debt Financing$51.8 MillionAlibaba Group

Competition of BigBasket Online Grocery

Competition of BigBasket Online Grocery
Competition of BigBasket Online Grocery

The online grocery market has grown big time in India since it was born. With new players adding up to the market and many of the big offline supermarket going online, everyone is keeping up their game to retain the existing customers and to attract new ones.

Despite growing at an increasing rate, BigBasket faces cut-throat competition in the market. Major competitors are startups like LocalBanya, Sequoia backed PepperTap and SoftBank funded Grofers. Though these players are acquiring strong market standing with the time, the company tends to stand fit and fine win the market with its large and ever-increasing consumer base.

Acquisitions of BigBasket Online Grocery

By the year 2020, BigBasket online grocery has made 5 acquisitions. Their most recent acquisition was hyper-local delivery platform — DailyNinja on Mar 24, 2020.

In the year 2018, BigBasket completed three acquisitions. In October 2018, BigBasket acquired ‘Raincan’ a subscription based service provider for morning and breakfast essentials, headquartered in Pune.

In October 2018 itself, BigBasket also acquired ‘KWIK24’ a company that manufactures and designs smart vending machines. On October 19, 2018, BigBasket announced acquisition of Bangalore based startup ‘Morning Cart’ which is a daily essential ordering platform.

In June 2015, the company acquired ‘Delyver’, an online platform that connects offline retailers with customers in a neighborhood.

Business Model of BigBasket

When BigBasket started its operations, it adopted a ‘purchased-to-order’ mode, wherein, the delivery boy directly picks up the item from the retailer and directly delivers it to the customer. Later, they adopted an ‘inventory model’ for most of their products, and BigBasket now buys products directly from suppliers and keeps stocks in their warehouses. BigBasket sources many perishable food products like fruits and vegetables from the mandis and other places.

To serve the hyper-local sentiment of the people, BigBasket online grocery has been implementing hyper-local strategies and has joined hands with more than 1,800 neighborhood grocery stores across India to deliver goods within an hour.

Growth / Revenue

  • Aggressively present in over 26 cities of India
  • Serving to 125 million customers all around the country
  • Aims to double sales each year to hit $2 billion by 2021
  • Bigbasket has generated Rs 3,200 crore in revenue in FY19.
  • Partnered with the Chinese brand – Alibaba

Future Plans

BigBasket’s plan is to grow to 60,000 SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) and double the farmer base to 5,000 by 2022. Further, the plan also includes expanding BigBasket’s private label range by using Alibaba’s muscle to source and import a range of merchandise to six times that of large-format supermarkets.

Interested in more case studies? You can read them here.

Sachin Vishwakarma

Sachin Vishwakarma

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