BigBasket acquires Kerala startup Agrima Infotech

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Tata-group owned online grocery seller BigBasket has acquired the enterprise business unit of a deep-tech company Agrima Infotech incubated by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) with a focus to revolutionise offline retail in the country, the company said on Saturday. 

BigBasket, a Tata enterprise, will be implementing Kochi-based startup Agrima Infotech’s unique customer vision technology platform, Psyight, at the self-checkout counters of the former’s retail stores, it said in a statement. 

The financial details of the deal remained undisclosed.

The acquisition brings a lot of value to our business. BigBasket will use this expertise on AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) to enrich and enhance a whole lot of technological innovation in the company. We look forward to working with Agrima team to build solid innovation in the grocery space, said Hari Menon, CEO of BigBasket.

The deal was announced on the sidelines of KSUM’s Huddle Global 2022.  

Psyight, created by Anoop Balakrishnan, Arun Ravi and Nikhil Dharman under Agrima Infotech, helps identify all Indian fruits and vegetables uniquely from an image without using barcodes. 

Describing the acquisition as a ‘milestone’, KSUM Chief Executive Officer John M Thomas said, “It not only reiterates the strength of our startup ecosystem, but shows the great impression firms such as BigBasket have about our startups,” he noted. “I hope the deal would encourage startups to move ahead strongly in their attempt to scale up their business.” 

Agrima Infotech Co-founder and CEO Anoop Balakrishnan said his startup joining hands with BigBasket will redefine the offline shopping experience in the country. 

Recently, BigBasket opened its first technology-driven self-service ‘Fresho’ retail store in Bangalore.

Bengaluru-based BigBasket’s investors include Helion Ventures, CDC, Bessemer Venture Partners and South Korea’s Mirae Asset Venture Investments.

In May last year, Tata Sons’ subsidiary Tata Digital acquired a 64.3% stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies (SGS), the parent and business-to-business (B2B) operator of Bigbasket, providing exits for at least two early institutional backers including Alibaba Group and Actis LLP.

KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.  

Agrima Co-Founder and COO Arun Ravi said detecting raw food items such fruits and vegetables uniquely from an image is a complex machine vision problem since the appearance of those items may vary with respect to the location of its origin and seasons. “We have captured thousands of images of each SKU (stock-keeping unit) across the seasons and from different locations to achieve cent per cent accuracy,” he added.

BigBasket, which competes with giants Flipkart and Amazon, plans to open 200 physical outlets across the country by fiscal year 2023. It aims to increase that number to 800 stores by 2026.

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