Trifecta Capital has infused US$7 million (INR 45 crore) into Bangalore-based online grocery retailer BigBasket, Rahul Khanna, Founder of the debt funding firm, told e27.

The money will be used to set up new warehouses and facilities for reprocessing fruits and vegetables, in addition to strengthening the cold chain infrastructure. 

“We have a clearly identified use case for debt. We are in the last leg of a pilot which will ensure that all fruits and vegetables are maintained at constant temperature and thereby improve the shelf life of the produce by almost 10 days. This will be done using large-scale equipment such as pre-coolers and ventilators. Funding such capex requirements is best done through debt.” Hari Menon, Co-founder and CEO of BigBasket said in a statement.

The Trifecta funding comes exactly a year after BigBasket raised US$150 million led by Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in global growth markets. This round has also seen participation from new investors such as International Finance Corporation and Sands Capital, besides existing investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Helion Advisors, Zodius Capital and Ascent Capital.

Founded in 2011, Bangalore-based BigBasket is one of the oldest grocery e-tailers in India. With over 19,000 products and over a 1,000 brands, the company operates in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Delhi, Noida, Mysore, Coimbatore, Vijayawada-Guntur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, Lucknow-Kanpur, Gurgaon, Vadodara, Visakhapatnam, Surat, Nagpur, Patna, Indore and Chandigarh. averages 5 million monthly unique visitors and executes over one million orders per month.

Srihari Kumar, Founding Partner of Singapore-based hedge fund LionRock Capital is an early investor in BigBasket. LionRock previously backed Singapore-based grocery e-tailer RedMart.

In June 2015, BigBasket had acquired Bangalore-based smaller rival Delyver for an undisclosed sum.

According to a research report of last year by Goldman Sachs, Indian consumption is moving online at a rapid pace. The country has the third largest Internet user base in the world, but an extremely low rate of internet penetration. However, by 2020, the number of people online is estimated to be over 670 million and this could hit one billion by 2030.

The e-commerce sector in India has grown rapidly in recent years and the report estimates it will reach US$300 billion by 2030. India’s current low smartphone penetration rate in the mobile phone market is also expected to change as smartphones become cheaper to purchase, rising from 16 per cent to 54 per cent by 2020.

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