In a bid to attain profitability and market share, Gurugram-based hyperlocal grocery delivery startup Grofers has reportedly set up 15 offline stores across Delhi-NCR.
As per a report by Money Control, the company has opened two types of offline stores: tuck shops and franchise stores. The startup has further initiated tie-ups with startups in the city such as OYO Rooms to open tuck shops (small shops selling tea and snacks) in their premises. These shops will serve affordable snacks and soft drinks.
On the other hand, the company is offering franchise stores in multiple residential areas in Gurugram. These new outlets will offer fresh produce and dairy products and will cater to the everyday grocery needs of local residents. As per the above stated report, since the shops will run on a franchise-driven model, operation costs incurred by Grofers would be comparatively less.
The project is still in its pilot stage and aims to reinforce Grofers as a brand across the capital and NCR, quoted the report. The startup’s private label products, Freshbury and Best Value, are already sold via retail shops.
Grofers was launched in 2013 by IIT graduates Albinder Dhindsa and Saurabh Kumar. It secured $120 Mn in a funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank Corp, in November 2015. It first raised $10 Mn (INR62Cr) in venture capital funding led by investment firm Tiger Global Management and existing backer Sequoia Capital India in February 2015. In April the same year, it secured another $35 Mn in a funding round led by Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital.
2016 came with many ups and downs for the startup. Beginning with January, when it shut down operations in nine cities – Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Kochi, Ludhiana, Mysore, Nashik, Rajkot, and Visakhapatnam.
It also got into a legal tangle after it revoked the job offers of 67 students. In July 2016, a legal notice was sent by 20 students collectively to Grofers. However, it tried to make a come back in October 2016, when it ditched its app-only model and launched its desktop website.
In December 2016, it partnered with YES Bank to allow Grofers customers to get currency notes delivered to their doorstep along with their grocery order for up to INR 2,000 through YES Bank PoS machines in the aftermath of demonetisation.
In February this year, it entered into a pan-India partnership with Reliance Fresh. Under the same, Reliance Fresh stores in 14 cities with be onboarded to the Grofers platform. Grofers users will be able to order from categories including groceries, fruits, vegetables and general merchandise from Reliance Fresh and Reliance Smart Outlets.
The startup’s offline pilot project will compete with bigger players in India such as BigBazaar, Godrej Nature’s Basket, EasyDay, and Reliance Fresh to name a few.
In October 2016, Jugnoo launched a new service ‘Grocery.’ In the same month, Satvacart raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its third angel round from serial entrepreneur Nimit Panigrahi. The major players in the hyperlocal grocery delivery space include LocalBanya, ZopNow, etc.