Grofers raises funding from Sequoia Capital, grows to 200+ people
Grofers is a Gurgaon based startup founded by Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa that is building a system for on-demand logistics. The company has a fleet of foot soldiers and tie ups with local merchants for delivery of goods to customers from shops around them. The company started from Gurgaon and has just announced that it has secured funding from Sequoia Capital. The funding amount has not been disclosed but considering the fact that Grofers has grown to 200+ people in one year and has quickly expanded to Mumbai and Bangalore, the investor confidence seems to be high. What do they exactly do?
At Grofers, we are building the future of on-demand logistics. We have started by partnering with local merchants in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai for fulfilling their local deliveries. We are building a network that helps consumers get any product from their local market at their doorstep in minutes.
Grofers has taken up a challenging problem but its growth has validated the need for its presence. We got in touch with Saurabh for a Q&A post funding:
YS: Tell us about the traction on the B2C and B2B sides.Saurabh: We focus on B2B partnerships so we can help merchants streamline their delivery systems. This includes everything from order receiving to fulfilment. Only when the merchant is fully operational with our systems, we start accepting orders for their outlet. We have over 150 live merchants with us right now which range from small cake shops to massive grocery chains. We process close to 33,000 orders every month and generate 20 new leads per outlet every month. Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of Grofers, which will eventually be beneficial for our merchants.
YS: What will the funding be used for?
Saurabh: We are using the funding to scale up our technology platform so we can on-board bigger merchants sooner and provide consumers with one place from where they can discover local stores that deliver to them and also order from them. The presence of our robust delivery network means allows us to control the customer experience and make sure their deliveries are fulfilled quickly and seamlessly.
YS: Tell us about the apps you've built.
Saurabh: We launched an On-demand app which tells the users the cost of shipping items within their city. Our on-demand service is like a personal messenger service and is currently used by a number of businesses for ferrying documents and samples across town. We are also launching our Grofers application later this week which will show you the inventory of local stores that we deliver from. This will include categories such as Grocery, Bakery, Flowers and Meat Shops - from where users will be able to order via the phone and Grofers will deliver within 90 minutes. The service will be open Pan- Delhi NCR with Mumbai coming online in January.
YS: 200 people in about a year is huge! Tell us about the team, how big is your fleet?
Saurabh: We have around 140 delivery guys (and increasing fast) and around 50 team members across sales, operations, technology, call centre and support. Our on-field training is primarily an etiquette training for two days that is accompanied by a training on using the Grofers Tracker application. The tracker enables us to keep a tab on every delivery that is out there and also makes the delivery person's task simpler by prioritising orders, providing updates and handling payment support easily. Recently, we have also started accepting credit cards at the door which is something we are working on rolling out across our network.
YS: Can you give me an example of a merchant who has benefited significantly, maybe a quote from him/her about Grofers.
Saurabh: Chaayos has been one of oldest customers and a great champion for our model. We deliver from all their outlets right now and are also sourcing new customers for them when we get a delivery request.
Nitin Saluja, founder of Chaayos says,
Grofers is a reliable logistics partner which takes care of a very important non-core activity for Chaayos. From internal logistics to customer orders, Grofers is our go to partner because of the reliability they bring on board.
YS: What is the vision you're building towards?
Saurabh: We have three operating cities currently at different stages of network build-up. Our vision is to build out our network to all the top cities so that consumers anywhere can rely on Grofers to get quick deliveries to their doorstep from trusted local retailers. We are seeing retailers move fast to counter the convenience factor that drives their shoppers to e-commerce. We are helping them compete in this market and I am sure we will have our task cut out over the next few years in fulfilling this need.