Sequoia, Nexus add $3 million of spice to Mumbai-based food ordering app TinyOwl

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TinyOwl, a Mumbai-based food ordering startup has raised a $3 million Series A round from Sequoia Capital and Nexus Venture Partners. TinyOwl was founded in March 2014 by five IIT Bombay alumni. It had raised a $1 million in a seed round in April 2014.

Harshvardhan Mandad, Co-founder, CEO of TinyOwl said, “In less than six months since launch, TinyOwl has emerged as the market leader in Mumbai. We have grown to more than 3500 delivery restaurants in Mumbai and are servicing thousands of happy customers every day. This success can be attributed to our strong focus on user experience, robust back-end technology and operational capabilities. We aim to offer the best personalized experience to our users and are setting up a data science team and research lab for this.”

TinyOwl app is available on Android and iOS platforms. TinyOwl offers its users an ample choice to order their favourite food from their preferred restaurant anytime with just a few taps on their mobile phones and have it delivered at their doorstep. The app tenders a seamless experience to consumers by managing the entire process including selecting and ordering dishes, and tracking and ensuring on-time delivery. Users have the option to either make payments through their card or opt for cash-on-delivery. At present, the presence of TinyOwl is limited to Mumbai. TinyOwl claims to have association with over 1000 restaurants.

Food apps will continue to play a big role in how we discover and consume food online. According to an industry report by Technopak, with the growth in access to smartphones and internet, the home delivery business is all set to grow. “Domino’s Pizza is leading this change from the front; of its total reported revenue of Rs 385 crore in third-quarter 2013, about 50% came from the delivery business. Again, 14% of the total delivery sales (Rs 27 crore) were made through online channels, through both mobile apps and online ordering. Although the mobile app business, started in 2012, only contributes about 10% of the online business (which started in 2011), Domino’s Pizza expects this to double within a year. About a million apps have already been downloaded, as per the company’s claims. This is line with the experience of other retailers, who are realizing the potential of the e-tailing opportunity in India against the brick-and mortar format,” stated the report.

Every food business can’t do what Domino’s is doing in-house. They join hands with specialized delivery portals like FoodPanda, Tastykhana, and JustEat. The food ordering apps work on a commission-based model. The advantage to the consumer is that he can access multiple restaurants through a single app. India loves food, and India also loves discounts. Often these startups negotiate exclusive offers from the restaurants.Gautam Mago, Principal, Sequoia Capital India Advisors said, “We are excited by the vision of the TinyOwl team to make food ordering joyful and easy for consumers. We believe that the food ordering experience will make a quantum leap in the era of smartphones, and look forward to partnering with the TinyOwl team in their quest to make this a reality.”

Suvir Sujan, Co-founder & MD, Nexus Venture Partners adds, “The food ordering industry needs technological and operational solutions to help make the discovery, order taking and delivery of food more efficient. There is no better team in the country than TinyOwl to address this. We are delighted to partner with them.”

There are so many startups popping up in the space across India. Recently Sequoia had invested in Zomato’s Series E round. And Rocket Internet’s Foodpanda acquired food delivery portal TastyKhana. Other players include JustEat.in, DeliveryChef.in, and Titbit.com.


Related read: 10 promising Mumbai based startups that’ve bloomed in 2014


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