Online grocery firm Bigbasket’s talks with multinational e-commerce giant Amazon has come to a halt, with disputes over its valuation and differences over its operating model (OM) occupying centrestage on the negotiation table. Amazon had entered into exclusive negotiations with BigBasket for a possible takeover but the talks broke down over talks on valuation, sources familiar with these developments told FE. BigBasket is estimated to be valued at $600-700 million.
Further, Bigbasket’s operating business model also became a niggling worry for Amazon.
BigBasket operates both in the wholesale and online retail segments which are governed by different FDI regulations and Amazon, according to sources, was not comfortable with this dual arrangement. “It is very unlikely that the talks between the two would revive,” said one of the sources cited above.
Amazon India in response to an e-mail query by FE on the stalled talks said, “We don’t comment on speculation.” Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal too refused to comment on the matter.
Paytm Mall too has entered into talks with BigBasket, according to a report, but not much progress has happened on that front. Amazon has got its own fledgling online grocery delivery business called Amazon Now which is available in a few cities in the country. Amazon’s Amit Agarwal told FE on Thursday that the company has been satisfied with the development of Amazon Now as a business, but refused to say how he plans to further expand. However, he said Amazon has been seeing great traction in smaller cities and towns of India, terming it an “inclusive” growth.
Bigbasket, which was founded in 2011, has raised around $292 million in funds thus far. It raised a venture debt of Rs 45 crore from Trifecta Capital, in March this year.
The company which has investors such as Abraaj Capital, Bessemer Ventures, Helion, has been looking to raise $150 million as part of its plan to infuse newer infrastructural facilities like cold storages and warehousing.
BigBasket is currently present in 25 cities and has no plans to expand into newer territories. The monthly cash burn rate at BigBasket is estimated to be $6 million. The company had reported a loss of Rs 277 crore on a revenue of Rs 563 crore for FY16.