Delhi-based online fresh fruits and grocery store, iOrderFresh has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Singapore Angel Network Pte. Ltd. (SGAN), the angel investment arm of Singapore-based Thakral Group of Companies.
Launched in December 2014 by Nitin Sawhney and Abhishek Sharma, iOrderFresh allows customers across Delhi-NCR to order fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, bakery products, pulses and organic food through its Android and iOS app. Minimum order delivery time is 24 hours. Users can also opt for an option of one-time delivery and can even pre-schedule their order for the next 30 days.
Commenting on the investment, Satveer Singh Thakral, CEO, SGAN said, “We are very excited about the prospects of partnering with iOrderFresh given the differentiated positioning and superior product platform. We feel the B2B space holds great potential and will help the company optimise costs in order to be profitable by June 2017.”
The startup had earlier raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by Best Foodworks Pvt. Ltd, in August 2015.
From Farms To Homes, The Zero Inventory Way
The company procures products directly from large wholesalers, farms, mandis (markets), and artisans. It offers a variety of options for making payments which include COD, mobile wallets, credit/debit cards as well as through online payment gateways.
It further follows a unique ‘zero-inventory, just-in time procurement’ model and provides same day delivery across three different delivery slots. Users can also avail the company’s services by placing their orders via the company’s call centre.
Abhishek Sharma, Founder and CEO, iOrderFresh said, “iOrderFresh was launched with a vision to provide natural and delicious food handpicked from farms and local producers around the city. Over the past two years, we have diversified our business model to emerge as an exclusive platform for artisan brands and home chefs. We are largely focussed on unit economics and are already profitable at the delivery level (including customer acquisition cost).”
It also has an exclusive delivery partnership with Mumbai-based Naturals ice cream chain for Delhi-NCR, in addition to partnerships with several other gourmet brands. The company has also recently ventured into the B2B space and will provide services to major cloud kitchens and restaurants across Delhi-NCR.
As per an official statement, it has already secured tie-ups with InnerChef, Di Ghent Café and is in advanced discussions with several other restaurants. The company claims to have an active customer base of over 50,000 with over 70% repeat rate. It recently also revamped its app and mobile website with an aim to provide a seamless ordering experience to customers.
To Consolidate Or Not : The Online Food Delivery Question
The foodtech space in India offers vast opportunities and startups have looked to capitalise upon that. 2016 essentially saw the ‘me-too’ startups spamming the foodtech space in India. This Researchandmarket reports suggests that the industry was touted to reach $78 Bn by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 16% YoY. It was creating high demand, looked promising for higher returns, and showed an option for a profitable exit as well.
But amidst numerable shutdowns, pivots, and revamps in 2016, the immediate need in the space is that of consolidation. In August 2016, Swiggy and Shadowfax pulled back from having their orders delivered by the startups. In an attempt to increase user acquisition, Swiggy, Shadowfax, Runnr, and others charged extremely low and attractive rates of commission that ate into their own revenue. Following this development, four food aggregators based in Gurugram shut down their services due to severe cash-crunch. In May 2016, foodtech startup operating in the daily meals segment, Yumist, stopped its services in Bengaluru.
The market undoubtedly has potential and is largely unorganised, in its current state. It can be a game changer if startups provide value add services to their potential customers. Startups like iOrderFresh directly compete with Supr Daily, Big Zop, RainCan, DayBox, and Lemon Leaf among others, and bigger players like Big Basket as well.