BigBasket.com, one of the biggest online grocery stores in India, is planning to expand into more cities after raising $50 million in new funding led by Bessemer Venture. Founded in 2011, the company is facing competition from upstarts like ZopNow, PepperTap, and Grofers, as well as a host of other hyperlocal services that promise on-demand delivery from neighborhood stores. The Times of India reports that BigBasket is already planning to raise another $150 million. BigBasket currently offers four delivery time slots each day, but is likely to launch one-hour delivery after acquiring hyperlocal startup Delyvr and expanding its logistics network.
Challenges faced by BigBasket include the grocery industry’s low margins, the cost of adding new delivery staff, and the fact that it carries its own inventory. This allows BigBasket to offer a large selection, but also means it has more overhead than hyperlocal services that partner with existing merchants and needs to more time to prepare before expanding into new cities.
Express delivery will help BigBasket continue to compete with rivals like Grofers, which has raised $45.5 million from investors including Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global to fuel deliveries from brick-and-mortar stores under 90 minutes. BigBasket also has to ward off competition from major e-commerce players like Amazon India, Snapdeal, and Flipkart, which is expected to launch its grocery vertical soon.