Independent plays in subscription commerce aka micro-delivery space is almost over, except Milkbasket. After Doodhwala shut down, Sequoia-backed DailyNinja is set to merge with Bigbasket. According to three Entrackr sources, the company is in advanced talks with the Alibaba-backed e-grocer for an acquisition.
“The talks between both companies have been underway for about six weeks. The contours of the proposed deal are almost finalised,” said the above sources on condition of anonymity. They emphasised that the transaction would be a mix of cash and stock.
The deal has come at a time when micro-delivery companies have been finding it tough to convince venture capitalists for a large round. Even the poster boy of the subscription commerce space – Milkbasket – has not been able to score a large round.
The Gurugram-based firm also had downscaled operations in NCR and Bengaluru to cut down its expenses. Last month, Doodhwala had shut down operations and transferred its subscribers base to FreshToHome.
Sources outlined that the deal would be in the range of $20 to 25 million. “About 20% of the total deal size would be in cash,” said two of the three sources. The transaction would be completed in a few weeks and likely get announced by early next month.
Bigbasket would use DailyNinja’s core-competency in subscription commerce to ramp up BBDaily. BBDaily is a Milkbasket kind of service that delivers daily essentials such as milk, groceries, fruits & vegetables every morning to the subscriber’s doorstep.
Queries sent to Bigbasket’s co-founder Hari Menon and Dailininja didn’t elicit any response till the publication of this story. We will update the post as and when they respond.
Bigbasket has been offering micro-delivery services since January this year. It had acquihired two companies – RainCan and Morning Cart – last year. It’s worth noting that Entrackr had exclusively reported the acquihire of the two companies (read here & here) and the launch of BBDaily.
Despite sound unit economics and a sticky business model, investors have shown apathy to this segment. The presence of deep-pocketed players has been one of the major hurdles in the funding of Milkbasket and DailyNinja.
VCs have been shying away from cutting a large cheque for them largely due to the presence of Alibaba, SoftBank, Naspers and DST in the online grocery segment. The Chinese behemoth counts BigBasket in its portfolio while SoftBank has Grofers.
Naspers and DST have backed Swiggy which expanded into grocery via Swiggy Stores. It also acquired Suprdaily to make an entry into subscription commerce. Now with the consolidation of DailyNinja and Bigbasket, the micro-delivery space is left with only one independent player – Milkbasket.
It will be exciting to track Milkbasket’s progress as it has been prioritising profitability over growth.