Grofers, a start-up which provides a mobile inventory management + delivery platform to local shop owners, at a time when e-commerce is “the most trending” thing in India’s shopping scene right now, has raised a $10 Million Series A from Sequoia and Tiger Global.
While Sequoia will be a returning investor in this round, Tiger Global is the new entrant. This Series A round now takes total funding raised by Grofers to $10.5 Million. With fresh capital in hand, Gurgaon-head-quartered Grofers aims to expand to more of Indian cities, apart from its current domain of New Delhi – NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Grofers may quite rightly be, the most disruptive idea in subcontinent’s uninspiring local stores business. While major electronic brands are failing to innovate their brick and mortar stores (apart from a few interior touch-ups) to compete with e-commerce’s burgeoning presence, Grofers is providing just the right platform to local shops, who once used to be a favourite among Indian consumers, get back to glory days.
Apart from its delivery mechanism, what also sets Grofers apart, is its paltform to provide a mobile-based inventory to shop owners. While India continues to be one of world’s fastest growing smartphone market, it becomes quintessential for sellers to have a mobile presence.And since local shops hardly get exposed to that arena, Grofers is helping them get mobile and increase sales.
The Gurgaon-headquartered startup, which was founded in December 2013, currently works with 250 vendors combining to offer over 500,000 individual products. Grofers claims to process 30,000 deliveries a month, with a decent 20 percent of those orders placed through its mobile apps. It has some 200 staffers to deliver products, and will now expand that number to accommodate expansion and increasing demand.
Since most local stores have never had an online presence, Grofers asks them to send photographs of the products available with them, so as to upload the same on its inventory platform. The time required for such a process depends on how large a store is. Once uploaded, the seller can almost immediately start receiving orders.
However, knowing that labour-intensive nature of the startup continues to be a major challenge, Co-founder Albinder Dhindsa says that Grofers’ future plans include improving its technology to make it easier for stores to manage orders, track inventory, and upload new products by themselves. Its future expansion plans include other major Indian cities like Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.