Ninjacart’s Remarkable Growth: Crossing the INR 1,000 Cr Milestone in FY23

Ninjacart, the agritech startup backed by Flipkart, achieved a significant milestone by surpassing INR 1,000 Cr in operating revenue in the financial year ending March 31, 2023. The B2B company, specializing in fresh produce, reported a sales figure of INR 1,153.4 Cr in FY23, marking a substantial 19% increase from the previous fiscal year’s INR 967.3 Cr.

Initially established as a B2C company, Ninjacart eventually shifted to a B2B model. Kartheeswaran KK, Sharath Loganathan, Sachin Jose, Thirukumaran Nagarajan, and Vasudevan Chinnathambi founded the company in 2015. The company plays a crucial role in the agricultural supply chain, sourcing fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and supplying them to various retailers, including restaurants, shops, and vegetable sellers.

Ninjacart’s losses increased by 6% to INR 326.3 Cr in FY23 from INR 307.9 Cr in FY22, despite an outstanding increase in operating revenue.

Expenditure Breakdown: Where Did Ninjacart Invest?

Total expenditure for Ninjacart rose by 18% to INR 1,538.7 Cr in FY23, up from INR 1,299.8 Cr in FY22. Let’s delve into the major expense categories:

Procurement Cost (71% of Total Expenditure): Ninjacart allocated INR 1,087.8 Cr to procurement costs in FY23, reflecting a 19% increase from the previous fiscal year’s INR 915.9 Cr. This expense is directly related to acquiring fresh produce from farmers.

Employee Benefit Expenses: The startup allocated INR 246.8 Cr for employee salaries and other benefits, marking a substantial 52% increase from INR 162.7 Cr in the previous year. This rise suggests a potential increase in the company’s workforce during the review period.

Transportation Cost: Ninjacart successfully reduced its transportation cost by 27% to INR 44.1 Cr in FY23 from INR 60.8 Cr in the previous year. Transportation costs account for the expenses incurred in moving fresh produce to various locations.

Despite these expenditures, Ninjacart showed improvement in its EBITDA margin, which increased from -28.7% in FY22 to -26.2% in FY23.

Expansion and Market Presence:

Ninjacart expanded its operations beyond Indian borders by entering the Brazilian market in collaboration with Arado, an agribusiness marketplace. With a funding history that exceeds $350 Mn, the startup boasts support from key investors such as Tiger Global, Flipkart, and Accel.

In terms of market competition, Ninjacart faces rivals like WayCool Foods and FarmLink. The company’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) reached an impressive INR 1,600 Crore in FY23, showcasing a substantial 70% increase from the previous fiscal year’s INR 945 Crore.

Ninjacart’s platform connects over 5 million farmers with more than 1 lakh retailers, operating across seven cities, including Bengaluru, Chennai, NCR, and the Mumbai-Pune region. The company emphasizes a significant contribution of 80% of its income from produce sales, with the remaining 20% generated from commissions and credit facilities.

Geographically, 40% of Ninjacart’s GMV comes from the southern part of India, while the western and northern regions contribute 30% each to the total collections.

Profitability and Future Projections:

Ninjacart’s CEO, Kartheeswaran K K, expressed optimism about the company’s future. The startup aims for a gross revenue of INR 4,000 Crore in FY24, based on the current run rate. Kartheeswaran also anticipates Ninjacart reaching profitability in FY26.

Acknowledging the potential impact of the ‘funding winter’ on the startup ecosystem, Kartheeswaran shared that Ninjacart currently has a runway of about 3-4 years.

In the landscape of agritech firms, Ninjacart stands as the third company to achieve a revenue (GMV) surpassing INR 1,500 Crore in FY23. Competitors like DeHaat and WayCool reported revenues of INR 1,965 Crore and INR 1,800 Crore, respectively.

Valuation-wise, Ninjacart, with its last valuation at $815 million, alongside DeHaat and WayCool, teeter on the brink of becoming unicorns, with valuations surpassing $700 million.

Ninjacart’s journey reflects not only remarkable financial growth but also a strategic positioning in the agritech sector, making it a noteworthy player in the evolving landscape of fresh produce supply chain management.