The concept of quick commerce has gained traction in recent times. You can thank the pandemic for that, seeing how Indians have increasingly preferred to shop groceries and essentials online rather than go out and buy them in person. You have speed, efficiency, and guaranteed availability of products in time, all rolled in one package.
Subsequently, this has attracted the attention of several players, who have thrown their hats in the ring. Among those players is Reliance, the oil to internet conglomerate owned by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, which has now announced a majority stake investment in Dunzo. The upstart recently entered the quick commerce sector (with its Dunzo Daily, which is recording week-on-week growth of 20%), and has picked up $240 million in a funding round led by Reliance’s retail division, Reliance Retail.
With an investment of $200 million, Reliance Retail will acquire a stake of 25.8% in the hyper-local delivery startup. The round also included participation from Dunzo’s existing investors Lightbox, Lightrock, 3L Capital, and Alteria Capital.
The proceeds from the round will be utilized towards furthering Dunzo’s aim to become the largest quick commerce player in the Indian market, thereby enabling instant delivery of essentials from a network of micro warehouses. Additionally, the company will expand its B2B segment to enable logistics for local merchants in Indian cities. Dunzo is now valued at about $800 million.
The delivery market is not a new one to Reliance Retail. JioMart, which is a joint venture between Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms, is a well-known name in the grocery delivery space. This deal, however, will deepen its footprint into the rapidly-growing segment.
“We are seeing a shift in consumption patterns online and have been highly impressed with how Dunzo has disrupted the space. Dunzo is the pioneer of Quick commerce in India and we want to support them in furthering their ambitions of becoming a prominent local commerce enabler in the country,” said Isha Ambani, director, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited.
The partnership will enable Reliance to provide increased convenience to Reliance Retail’s consumers and differentiated customer experience through the rapid delivery of products from Reliance Retail stores. Dunzo will facilitate last-mile deliveries for JioMart’s merchant network and also enable hyperlocal logistics for the retail stores operated by Reliance Retail.
In return, Dunzo, which is available across seven metro cities in India, will get a long-term partner in Reliance Retail, with whom it can accelerate its growth and “redefine how Indians shop for their daily & weekly essentials.”
Some of the other names operating in the quick commerce segment in India are Zepto, Blinkit (formerly Grofers), Swiggy Instamart, and others.