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BigBasket Acquires Kerala Startup Agrima Infotech

In Business
February 19, 2022

India’s largest online grocery seller BigBasket has acquired the enterprise business unit of a deep-tech company incubated by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) with a view to revolutionizing offline retail in the country.

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.

The acquisition was announced by Hari Menon, CEO, BigBasket, on the sidelines of a two-day virtual ‘Huddle Global 2022’ of KSUM that got underway here on Saturday.

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.

KSUM Chief Executive Officer John M Thomas described the acquisition as a “milestone” for any Kerala startup. “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.

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.

Menon, noting that the acquisition brings “a lot of value to our business”, said 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.”

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

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