Gurugram-based 74 BC Technologies, the parent company of Baxi has shifted its business to the hyper-local delivery model and has tied up with two FMCG brands. It has also rebranded itself as B-Fresh.
The company is in the final stages of launching its hyper-local delivery service, which is expected to reportedly go live in January. The company, with redesigned user interface, has also partnered with Patanjali Industries and Mother Dairy.
Baxi, which was founded by Ashutosh Johri and Manu Rana in 2015, had raised $1.42 Mn (INR 10 Cr) that year from a host of well-known early-stage investors. The company used to provide last mile connectivity to offices, schools, colleges and residential areas from metro stations and bus stops in the region with its service.
Baxi had closed down its bike taxi services in mid-2017, due to losses on every ride it offered plus a lack of consumer demand. It had started along with larger rivals Uber and Ola’s bike taxi services but even those have either scaled down or closed due to the uncertain regulatory environment.
“Bike taxi as a full-time employment does not work…Secondly, it works much better and much more efficiently as a roadside pickup service than on an app-on-demand service,” Johri reportedly said.
The pilot project will deliver goods, across the dairy, fruits and vegetables, drugs and other household items in the Gurugram area and certain parts of Delhi.
“The idea was to tie up with retail chains, which had a significant physical presence, but do not have enough presence to create their own app,” Johri said, according to reports.
Baxi will face competition in the hyperlocal delivery sector from Shadowfax, a Bengaluru-based company, which closed $22 Mn (INR 154.11 Cr) in Series C funding in August led by NGP Capital. Qualcomm Ventures, Mirae Asset and existing investor, Eight Roads Ventures, also joined the oversubscribed equity round.
Sriharsha Majety, CEO and cofounder of Swiggy, said in an interview in August the the foodtech unicorn is experimenting with few hyperlocal categories such as groceries and milk delivery.
[The development was reported by ET]