It’s official. E-commerce logistics startup chhotu.in has shut down its operations as it failed to raise funds to scale and operate further. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, an investor and board member in the company, confirmed the shutdown to YourStory.
“Chhotu ceased its operations in November last year and the core team has joined Paytm,” says Vijay. Last year, there were some speculations by media houses about the startup struggling to raise funds, and a possible shutdown. YourStory has reached out to Navneet Singh, one of the co-founders of the company, for more details; his reply is awaited.
Once hailed as a solution for e-commerce logistics, Chhotu was founded by Navneet Singh and Aadhar Agarwal in 2011. It ensured delivery within 24 hours anywhere in India, and had worked with a number of e-commerce ventures, including GKB Opticals, Snapdeal, Yebhi, Yepme, Zivame etc. The company had its operations in metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, including parts of Punjab. But later it had rolled back operations in Bangalore and Mumbai.
Besides logistics, the company was also offering warehouse and packaging services for e-commerce companies. It had also raised half a million dollars from angel investors, including Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of One97 Communications, and Dinesh Agarwal, CEO, Indiamart.com.
Unlike other e-commerce supporting services, e-commerce logistics has seen very few startups disrupting and evangelizing the space. Besides Chhotu, Jabong is also said to have sold out its logistics arm, Ja VAS (Jabong Value Added Services), to a Gurgaon-based logistics company.
Logistics is a long term game and startups need to be well funded to stay afloat. Apart from Delhivery, a Times Internet Limited funded e-commerce focused logistics provider, none of the other startups were able to survive so far in this space. Logistics is a deep pocket game and a major chunk (approx 90%) of the market size is dominated by established logistics players like Fed Ex, DTDC, Bluedart among several others.
Chhotu’s closure signifies the investment crunch not only for e-commerce players but also supporting services and startups in other domains.
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