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BigBasket’s wholesale arm posts 35% rise in revenue for FY18, narrows losses significantly

BigBasket’s wholesale arm posts 35% rise in revenue for FY18, narrows losses significantly
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Online food and grocery store BigBasket’s wholesale business posted a 35% year-over-year rise in its operational revenues to Rs 1,583 crore from Rs 1176 crore for the financial year 2017-18. Also, SuperMarket Grocery Supplies Pvt. Ltd narrowed its consolidated net loss from Rs 659 crore to Rs 272 crore during the period, filings with the Registrar of Companies show.

Employee benefit expenses rose to Rs 154 crore from Rs 142 crore during the period even as total expenses climbed to 1,877 crore from Rs 1,516 crore year-over-year.

Innovative Retail Concepts Pvt. Ltd, the retail arm of BigBasket, witnessed a 29% year-over-year jump in revenue to Rs 1,410 crore. Total expenses, however, increased to Rs 1,877 crore from Rs 1,516 crore during the period, a jump of 23%. The arm narrowed its losses 6% year-over-year to 179 crore for 2017-18.

Email queries to BigBasket did not get any response till the time of publishing this report.

BigBasket

Last year in February, BigBasket raised $300 million (around Rs 1,921 crore) in a Series E round of funding led by Chinese e-tailer Alibaba. CEO Hari Menon, who is also BigBasket's co-founder, at that time had said that Alibaba accounted for around 75% (around $225 million or Rs 1,440 crore) of the total funding while existing investors Abraaj, International Finance Corporation (arm of the World Bank), and Sands Capital accounted for the rest.

The Bengaluru-based company is barely $50 million away from becoming a unicorn after Alibaba’s funding into the company.

BigBasket, which is currently the country’s top grocery e-tailer, operates in 30 cities clocking Rs 200 crore in terms of monthly run-rate.

Direct sourcing from farmers is a part of BigBasket's business model. The company aims to work directly with 3,000 farmers going forward from 1,800 at present. BigBasket also claimed to have crossed eight million customers.

The company has also strengthened its business-to-business (B2B) operations by expanding to the HoReCa (hotels, restaurants, and caterers) segment and partnering with kirana stores in an effort to transform them into technology-enabled modern retail stores.

The company has also been on an acquisition spree lately. In October last year, it acquired subscription-based e-grocery startup RainCan in order to strengthen its micro-delivery operations.

BigBasket has rebranded the RainCan app as BBdaily and will launch a subscription-based service enabling early-morning delivery of household essentials including milk, bread, fruit and vegetables, baby diapers and staples.

According to several media reports, BigBasket and its main rival Grofers have revived talks for a merger as their investors look to join forces against Amazon and Flipkart. The Mint newspaper said that if the deal goes through, Alibaba could invest $250 million in the combined entity while Japanese conglomerate SoftBank could also put some capital.

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