Remember Ola Store ? Well, you’d be forgiven if you don’t, largely because Ola failed miserably on that front — and if you do remember and perhaps used it once in a blue moon — the service is reportedly shutting down.
It hasn’t been a great start of the year for hyperlocal grocery segment — a hot selling cake among investors in 2015. Just a few days after Flipkart shut down its hyperlocal store Nearby, and now Ola is also reportedly planning to shut down its hyperlocal delivery service Ola Store due to the lack of synergy, reported NDTV Gadgets360.
Ola Store was started in June last year in a beta mode and later made public in July. It had partnered with popular retail chains such as PNP Retail, Topintown, and Namdhari’s Fresh, offering over 16000 products under 13 categories such as Fruits & Vegetables, Breakfast, Dairy, Bread & Eggs, Grocery & Staples, Sweets & Snacks, etc.
The service is active in three cities namely Gurgaon, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. It claims to offer quick delivery services, one-hour delivery slots through its Android and iOS apps. However, the service reportedly is getting one-tenth of the visitors which the market leader Grofers claims to have.
Incidentally, Grofers, which is also one of the most heavily funded startups in hyperlocal segments, has the same investors on board as Ola, i.e, SoftBank, Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital. However, Grofers also is not exactly in a great position having recently shut down operations in 9 cities.
The story is similar to PepperTap which shut down its operations in six major Indian cities and also laid off 400 delivery men as a part of cost-cutting efforts. Before that, PayTm also silently pulled off its grocery app PayTm Zip from the app store within three months of its launch
Clearly, the hyperlocal market has proven to be a tough nut to crack for these startups. And this year competition may further get intense due to the entry of e-commerce giant Amazon in the hyperlocal space.
Amazon has recently launched its Amazon Now service in Bengaluru which offers two-hour delivery services for essential household items. It is reportedly planning to expand the service to 10 cities in India this year.