BigBasket Acquires Deeptech Startup Agrima To Redefine Offline Shopping Experience

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BigBasket Acquires Deeptech Startup Agrima To Redefine Offline Shopping Experience

Online grocery giant BigBasket has acquired the enterprise business unit of deeptech startup Agrima Infotech.

As part of the deal, BigBasket will implement Agrima Infotech’s computer vision technology platform, Psyight, at the self-checkout counters of its retail stores.

Psyight is a food recognition platform that uses computer vision technology to help distinguish between raw, cooked and packaged food items. Essentially, the AI-backed platform helps identify all Indian fruits and vegetables uniquely just from an image. 

COO and cofounder of the startup, Arun Ravi said, “Detecting raw food items such as fruits and vegetables uniquely from an image is a complex machine vision problem…We have captured thousands of images of each SKU (stock-keeping unit) across the seasons and from different locations to achieve cent percent accuracy.”

The announcement was made by BigBasket CEO, Hari Menon, on the sidelines of the two-day ‘Huddle Global 2022’ virtual event organised by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).

Menon was quoted by PTI as saying that the acquisition brings “a lot of value to our business”, adding that BigBasket will use this expertise on AI and ML to enrich and enhance a whole lot of technological innovation in the company.

Agrima infotech was founded in 2011 by Anoop Balakrishnan, Arun Ravi, and Nikhil Dharman. The KSUM-incubated startup offers deep tech products that enable food and retail companies to scale up their businesses.

Agrima Infotech has already deployed the Psyight platform for a multitude of companies including Samsung, IFB, Innit, among others. 

BigBasket was acquired by Tata Digital had acquired in May last year. Since then, the startup has revamped its operations.  

The acquisition comes barely months after Bigbasket forayed into the offline retail segment by unveiling its first technology-driven self-service store – Fresho, in Bengaluru in November of 2021.

The launch is part of the startup’s plan to open 200 physical outlets across India by 2023 and as many as 800 stores by 2026.

Agrima’s integration could also enable BigBasket to scale its Fresho retail stores and speed up invoicing at its stores and it could yield big dividends for the grocery giant.

report estimates that the Indian e-grocery market is estimated to touch $22 Bn by 2025. The same report had pegged the current market at about $3 Bn during FY21..

BigBasket was the defacto leader in the Indian egrocery segment in FY21 with a lion’s share of 37%, followed by Grofers which had a 13% market share 

The announcement builds on a fantastic year for deep tech startups last year. The sector attracted more than $450 Mn in funding in 2021, which is more than double the funding it received in 2020. Since 2014, the segment has attracted more than $2 Bn in funding. 

Barely days ago, Kanpur-based deeptech energy storage startup, Offgrid Energy, raised an undisclosed amount of funds from energy solutions giant Shell and other investors.

Earlier last month, Mumbai-based data analytics startup Course5 Intelligence filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) for an INR 600 Cr initial public offering (IPO).

In addition to this, the Ministry of Defence had inked a deal, earlier this month, with deep tech startup, NewSpace, for the development of a High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS).

In November last year, AI-based robotics startup Haber raised close to $20 Mn in a Series B funding round led by Ascent Capital. 

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