These startups are winning the $600 billion grocery game with e-commerce
These B2B startups are tapping technology to ensure that Horeca businesses, retailers, and suppliers have better margins, quick turnarounds, and smaller inventories.
India’s grocery market - now worth $600 billion – is the sixth largest in the world. But only five to eight percent of grocery stores are in the organised sector. Small retailers lack the technology and logistics to exploit this market opportunity.
In fact, there are 4.8 crore SMEs in India that need to secure bulk supplies, making the B2B ecommerce market a much bigger opportunity than B2C. Both wholesalers and retailers are now opening up to the possibilities of online purchasing.
To enable HoReCa (hotels, restaurants, and cafes) businesses, retailers, and suppliers with better margins, quick turnarounds, and smaller inventories, a bunch of startups in India are using advanced technology. Read on to know more about them:
JumboGrocery: Launched in 2015, this Delhi-based startup is recognised by the Government of India as part of the Startup India programme. JumboGrocery focuses on hotels, restaurants, catering houses, and other large institutions serving food and beverage. It enables strong supply chain integration with manufacturers and provides an extensive product range, and platform-integrated logistics setup. The bootstrapped startup also provides automated solutions for procurement, transparency in pricing and billing, “on-the-go” delivery, and discounting for bulk purchases, along with multi-channel touch points made for the industry.
Smerkato: Based in Bengaluru, this one-year-old startup uses AI to bring visibility on wastage, usage, return on investments, etc. Food chains, restaurants, and hotels can place orders for their grocery requirements on Smerkato, and orders will be delivered to their location. Smerkato is also a hyperlocal marketplace for local stores. For a fixed commission, Smerkato passes orders placed by customers directly to local stores for delivering to customers. They have now expanded to categories like hardware and automobile spare parts too.
EZKirana: One of YourStory’s Tech 30 startups last year, EZKirana focuses on smaller players rather than star hotels, which already have an organised procurement system. While initially, the team would procure goods from wholesalers, it has now started procurement directly from manufacturers. It follows a lean inventory model, which works on an almost just-in-time delivery system. The Bengaluru startup has also built an app for delivery staff for easy order selection, packaging, and even editing of unavailable items.
Udaan: Co-founded by former Flipkart top executives Sujeet Kumar, Amod Malviya, and Vaibhav Gupta in 2016, Udaan is a pure-play horizontal marketplace on which manufacturers and wholesalers can sell their products to retailers. Probably the highest funded startup in the sector, Udaan provides logistics, payment, and technology support. At present, it is focusing on three categories - clothing, electronics, and FMCG and staples. They have raised $60 million from Lightspeed Ventures and Russian tech investor Yuri Milner among others.
Jumbotail: Having raised $10.5 million from Kalaari Capital and Nexus Venture Partners, this Bengaluru-based startup aims to organise the Indian food and grocery ecosystem using technology, data science, and design. Traders, manufacturers, and brands can list their food and grocery products on this marketplace. Kiranas and HoReCa businesses can access them through a mobile app available in Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, and English. Jumbotail also provides storefront delivery and payments collection for its sellers, as well as working capital credit from third-party credit providers.
SuperZop: Launched in 2016, this Bengaluru-based startup is aB2R (Business to Retail) agri-commerce platform for kirana stores. Founded by Prithwi Singh, Darshan Krishnamurthy, and Raghuveer Allada, SuperZop app enables retailers to order goods online and get them delivered. This app is available in local languages, in addition to English. SuperZop uses advanced AI and ML for product quality visualisation, predicting consumer behavior and credit worthiness, demand forecasting, etc. Their customers can also avail “SuperKredit” to get sufficient credit for goods.
ShopKirana: Founded in 2015 by Tanutejas Saraswat, Sumit Ghorawat, and Deepak Dhanotiya, this Indore-based startup is a B2B mobile-distribution platform for merchants and small retailers. It helps retailers with ordering, delivery, and payments, and brands with visibility and direct connect to retailers for promotions or product launch. Now present in Mumbai too, it generates revenue from trade margins from listed brands. ShopKirana has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from multiple angel investors and Japanese seed stage investor Incubate Fund.