Gurgaon-based grocery delivery startup, Grofers is in final discussions with Softbank Vision Fund to raise around $120-150 million. The funding round may also see Metro AG, the German retail group as an investor with a considerably smaller cheque, as reported by Economic Times.
Japan-based SoftBank is an existing investor in the startup and has earlier invested $182 million in two funding rounds; Series C and Series E. The venture capital firms plan to further invest in Grofers has put a hold on the ongoing talks of a merger with Alibaba-backed BigBasket.
“SoftBank has decided to double down on its investment in Grofers as talks with Alibaba for a possible merger with BigBasket have not progressed. The round may see the participation of a new financial investor as well in which case the round size may go up to $200 million,” said a person in the know to ET.
SoftBank Plans to Buy More than 40% Stake
According to sources, Softbank Vision Fund plans to invest 60-70 per cent of the required amount while Metro AG may invest $30 million. Existing investors including Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global are likely to participate in the fresh funding round. If the deal is signed, Grofers will be valued at $500 million, pre-investment.
Earlier in February, Grofers raised $62 million in a down round from SoftBank which trimmed down its valuation to around $300 million. At the time Grofers changed its business model and sifted from being an express delivery platform to an inventory-based scheduled delivery fulfilling platform.
Startup Fact – A down round is when a private company raises capital at a lower valuation compared to its previous funding round.
It is speculated that if the deal is signed between SoftBank and Grofers through SVF, the Japan-based VC firm will end up gathering more than 40% stake in the startup. Tiger Global will be the second largest stakeholder and Sequoia and Milner’s Apoletto will become the third and fourth big investors in the firm.
According to the report by ET, Metro AG is in talks to sign a strategic partnership deal where the German retailer would become an exclusive sourcing pltform for the online grocery startup. Metro AG currently runs 27 wholesale cash and carry stores in India. However, the deal is unlikely to happen, according to a person aware of the negotiations.