INDIA – Milkbasket, an Indian food and grocery delivery startup has raised US$5.5 million in a new funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures with participation from existing investors; Blume Ventures, Kalaari Capital, Mayfield India, Unilever Ventures and BeeNext.

The new funding round provides Milkbasket a competitive edge in its portfolio as well as operational expansion against rivals as the five-year old startup plans to turn profitable by the close of 2020, a report by VCCircle indicates.

“This is probably our last fund raise on our path to profitability – that we target to achieve in 2020,” said Anant Goel, co-founder, CEO, Milkbasket. The Gurugram headquartered company was founded in early 2015 and has raised US$35 million to date.

“Our Gurgaon, Noida and Bangalore operations are already breaking even with other cities on an accelerated track,” Goel said. He added that the fresh funds will provide a further boost in the company’s “efforts to achieve the same and necessary buffers to deal with any eventualities.”

Milkbasket has built a new-age technology platform to enable frequent and frictionless buying with features like contactless delivery, one-click buying, and no checkout which the startup says is an all a first in the e-commerce industry.

The startup lists over 9,000 products including fruits and vegetables, dairy, bakery, and other consumer goods products. The company claimed it caters to over 130,000 households in seven locations including Gurgaon, Noida, Dwarka, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru.

Since the lockdown began, the Milkbasket mentioned that it has witnessed significant growth in demand as hyperlocal grocery delivery has gone up manifold. The startup claims to have delivered 30 million orders till date and achieved positive unit economics within the first six months of its launch.

The covid-19 pandemic has been a huge growth opportunity for the online grocery delivery segment with Forrester Research noting last month that India’s online grocery market could make US$3 billion in sales this year, representing a 76% hike compared to US$1.7 billion last year.

The startup, which focused on just delivering milk in its early years, is increasingly exploring new categories to enter. Milkbasket has launched services like MbBulk and SCO helpline across multiple cities to help people sustain the lockdown without venturing out for groceries.

Vinay Bansal, founder and CEO of Inflection Point Ventures believes that Milkbasket’s lean delivery model enables the startup to run a very efficient and cost-effective supply chain.

“Additionally, Milkbasket has a very lean delivery model using the milk-run concept that enables them to run a very efficient and cost-effective supply chain. This will help them become profitable very soon and first among the various competitive players in the market,” said Bansal.

While the industry is witnessing a number of players adopting the model, the funding is expected to enhance the company competitiveness against its rivals including DailyNinja, BigBasket and Grofers.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE