Yes, Bucketkart is just another online grocery store of the dozens of grocery e-commerce startups cropping up in India month after month – but there is a difference.
This one does not source fruits and vegetables from nearby vendors or from their inventories like their competitors Grofers, Peppertap, or RainCan, but actually gets most of them from farmers in and around the city.
“We want to help bridge the gap between farmers, consumers, and markets too. This we are doing in the interest of both farmers and consumers. Farmers will go through less people and get maximum profit, while consumers will get farm fresh produce,” said Archana Pawar, Co-founder, Bucketkart.
Archana is all about building an online e-commerce startup that will be the one-stop shop for all food requirements – groceries, food delivery from restaurants and even home-cooked dabbas.
Bucketkart is just the first step toward that goal. Archana along with Santosh Tyagi and Bishal Kumar founded Bucketkart in October last year. The three of them met at a startup event after she closed down her previous e-commerce venture – myfoodfactory.
“After 18 years in the IT sector, I wanted to enter the food industry. My previous venture was an e-commerce site where people could order cakes, cookies etc online. It was very logistics heavy, which is why I shut down last year,” added Archana.
The website went live with operations in Bengaluru in March. To ensure they have an edge over other online grocers, they offer to deliver the products to their customers within two hours. And have as many as seven slots to pick from everyday.
According to a recent report, the total grocery market in India is about $383 billion, of which the online share constitutes just 0.5 percent of total market. This number is projected to reach a whooping $1 billion by the year 2020.
This year, the top five online grocery startups in India raised over $120 million, but the situation was quite different a few years ago, a number of startups had come up in this sector but most shut down pretty soon mostly due to lack of investment and customer base.
The Bengaluru-based startup recently raised an angel round of funding of about $150k from HNIs.
“We will soon tie up with restaurants, hotels, and resorts so they can also place their daily, weekly needs and order on our portal in bulk. We will deliver it at their doorstep. It will be like one login for all food needs, which I am sure will help restaurants, dine-in places, resorts and hotels to place orders at one place and manage inventory and budget better,” said Archana.
The 37-member team currently serves over 4,000 customers, with an average of 200 orders everyday across Bengaluru and Mysuru, and will soon expand to five cities at the end of this year.
Bucketkart is also in the process of closing a $1 million funding round in the next couple of weeks.
Competition has increased more than ever with large players like Ola, Flipkart, and Amazon, with established logistics, entering the space. Also infusing a lot of money into the sector will not solve the problem.
Unless these new startups, which are mushrooming across the country, have something new to offer, their lifetimes will be short. It is a make or break period for every food-related startup in India, and going forward the competition will only get tougher.