A story of three startups
Food tech and allied logistics startups are confronting an environment which is full of prospects as well as challenges. Bangalore-based food tech startup SpoonJoy looked promising, with its aim of delivering a diverse range of freshly cooked meals to homes. However, an inability to raise sufficient funds saw it close down operations in parts of Delhi and Bangalore. Logistics startup Townrush was also in dire straits and looked set to shut down. However, an exciting development occurred recently when both were acquired by hyperlocal grocery and fresh food delivery startup Grofers.
Grofers was founded in 2013 by Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa. It aims to deliver products of a variety of kinds-ranging from groceries and meats to baby care products- to households from stores. Given the hectic lifestyles of most people today, and the logistical problems intricately associated with medium or long-distance delivery, Grofers’s services come as a huge boon for many people. Its services can be availed of through iOS and Android apps as well. The startup continues to expand rapidly, with its monthly user base quadrupling recently. Currently, its services are can be availed of in as many as 26 cities, and Grofers aims to attain a truly nationwide profile in the near future. Its raising of $35 million from its investors Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital have given a huge boost to the quality of its operations.
According to Dhindsa, the latest acquisition saw the entire SpoonJoy team joining Grofers, while some of Townrush’s most talented individuals were also taken on-board. These two startups had managed to raise some funding earlier this year-Townrush raised seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners in August, whereas Spoonjoy garnered $1 billion from SAIF Partners in May. However, the challenging logistics and delivery environment caused a contraction in their operations.
The topsy-turvy nature of the logistics environment has been demonstrated time and again. Innovativeness, a focus on relevance, good customer care and effective marketing are all key to thriving in what is an extremely competitive sector. Grofers looks set to continue its impressive expansion, making good on its promise of making shop-to-home delivery hassle-free and convenient.