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Walmart, Flipkart invest in Indian startup Ninjacart

Walmart Inc.'s Indian unit said Dec. 11 that it invested in supply chain technology startup Ninjacart alongside its e-commerce business Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd.

Walmart India said the deal will help it improve sourcing of fresh produce for its Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and for Flipkart's online grocery platform Supermart.

Bengaluru, India-based Ninjacart specializes in building supply chain infrastructure using big data, predictive analytics, mobile applications and internet-of-things technology. It has more than 44,000 farmers within its supply chain and a customer base of 60,000 stores and restaurants across seven cities in India.

The startup will use the investment to expand its customer base and to gain exposure to global best practices.

"Ninjacart's focus on direct-from-farm sourcing resonates well with Walmart's commitment to supporting farmers in India," Walmart India President and CEO Krish Iyer said in a statement. "We are working towards our commitment of sourcing 25% of produce in our Best Price cash-and-carry stores directly from farmers by 2023. This would help accelerate market access for them and reduce transportation costs."

Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of 2019, were not disclosed.