INDIA – Grocery and milk delivery startup MilkBasket has raised US$7 million in a Series A round of funding led by Kalaari Capital, along with BeeNext and existing investors Unilever Ventures and Blume Ventures.

According to Economic Times, this is the latest funding in the milk and grocery delivery space, with players such as DailyNinja and Doodhwala also having picked up venture capital in recent months.

MilkBasket had raised US$3 million in a round led by the investment arm of consumer packaged goods company Unilever Plc, earlier this year.

The latest round brings the Gurgaon-based company’s funding to US$10 million, apart from the US$1 million it has raised in angel investment.

CEO Anant Goel said the new capital will be invested in three areas – talent, technology and territory.

MilkBasket, which currently caters to 40,000 households in Gurgaon, is looking to expand into newer cities in the next 6-12 months, though Goel did not specify the cities.

“We are like a mom-and-pop store, while they are the online version of a BigBazaar where the frequency of shopping could be about 2-3 times a month,” Goel said. “The customer frequency on MilkBasket is about 25 times a month.”

Amazon India recently announced a separate network of warehouses only for its grocery business, while Flipkart has also launched a grocery delivery service in Bengaluru.

The grocery retail market in India is more than US$400 billion, while online grocery retail could be close to US$1 billion, as per a recent report by University of Pennysylvania Wharton.

The online grocery market could reach US$5 billion in three to four years, the report said.

“Our investment in Milkbasket provides us with meaningful participation in one of the fastest growing e-grocery markets globally,” Teruhide Sato, founder of BeeNext, said in a statement.

MilkBasket was founded in 2015 by INSEAD alumnus Anant Goel with his co-founders Ashish Goel, Anurag Jain and Yatish Talvadia.

“A strong founding team, focus towards data-based decision making, operational rigor, and incessant focus on customer delight, backed by a large market opportunity in the grocery space culminated into us leading a US$7M Series A round into Milkbasket,” Vani Kola, MD at Kalaari Capital said in a statement.