SatvaCart, a Gurgaon-based online grocery retailer, has raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from Abhijit Avasthi (Sideways), Karan Chellani (Partner, Grace Capital Ventures) and SP Vijay (Founder, Tarento Technologies).
The raised funds will be utilised to achieve complete break-even within next 4 quarters. The startup is also aiming to raise additional $2 Mn in next angel round. Earlier, in July 2015 SatvaCart raised a seed round from Palaash Ventures. Prior to this, in November 2015, it raised another angel round of $1.8 Mn from undisclosed investors.
Satvacart was launched in January 2015 by Rahul Hari and chose to keep its operations within the same city (Gurgaon) inspired by the business model of FreshDirect in the US.
FreshDirect – one of the largest e-Grocery company in the US – started its operations in the Queen’s area of Manhattan and restricted its operations to that area for a very long time. This led to its success as compared to another e-Grocery retailer – WebVan which was valued at $8 Bn at its peak, tried to expand its operations into 26 cities within a year of its launch and subsequently went bankrupt with $1.2 Bn of investor capital.
As said by Rahul, “The induction of these senior and respected industry experts will further fuel SatvaCart’s next round of growth. Having achieved operating level break-even within 14 months of launch following the vertical expansion strategy, we are now targeting full break-even. I am confident that with the knowledge and guidance from these leaders, we are very well positioned to achieve the targets that we have set for ourselves.”
Avasthi has joined the Board of Directors of the company along with Sameer Bagul (EVP & CFO, Cleartrip) and Sri Ramakrishnan, a marketing veteran with 20 years’ experience and a visiting faculty at IIMA with expertise in e-Grocery.
Talking about the team, investor Abhijit said, “Starting from scratch with bare minimal funding, the team has done a great job in focussing on the right metrics. The results are already visible in the market, given most of the heavily funded players are falling apart, whereas, SatvaCart is going strong and planning to expand gradually.”
SatvaCart sells 4,000 products across categories such as grocery, fruits and vegetables, personal care, household essentials and baby care, through an inventory-led model.
Recently, the startups that has grabbed funding in the online grocery space includes BigBasket ($150 Mn), Zopper ($20 Mn, Series B), ShadowFax ($8.5 Mn, Series A), NinjaCart ($3 Mn) and ZopNow ($10 Mn).
Lately, many startups in this space have been forced to either shut down or scale down their operations. In April this year, PepperTap put an end to its customer centric grocery delivery app. Earlier in February, the company had shut down business in larger cities such as Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Jaipur. Before that, in September 2015, it had rolled back operations in Agra and Meerut due to non-acceptance of the concept in the markets.
In January 2016, Grofers had shutdown its operations in nine cities; Shadowfax restricted its operations to only three cities. Localbanya and Townrush had to shut down operations. Biggies like Paytm and Flipkart too tasted waters in this segment, but pulled back soon.