Timeline: How Grofers evolved into a Zomato subsidiary called Blinkit
Zomato's acquisition of Blink Commerce in a $626-million deal signals the food-delivery company's renewed focus on hyperlocal deliveries to drive growth.
Blink Commerce's technology platform acts as a facilitator between third party sellers of products (such as grocery, fruits and vegetables, bakery items, personal care, health and hygiene, pet care, and baby care), and potential buyer of goods, the company said in a statement on Friday.
For Albinder Dhindsa, Founder and CEO of Blink Commerce, the acquisition marks a return to, where he was Head of International Operations between 2011 and 2014.
Here is a timeline of how Grofers India evolved into quick-commerce venture Blinkit, which Zomato has been eyeing for the past couple of years.
Saurabh Kumar starts Onenumber, an on-demand delivery service from neighbourhood shops to customers.
- Onenumber rebrands itself to Grofers, promising delivery in 90 minutes, in Delhi-National Capital Region.
- Albinder Dhindsa, former head of International Operations at Zomato, joins Grofers as co-founder.
- Grofers raises $500,000 in seed funding from Sequoia Capital.
- Raises $10 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global; plans expansion beyond NCR and Mumbai.
- Clocks close to Rs 1.6 crore turnover, mainly due to its B2B model.
- Acquires My Green Box, a smartphone-based grocery delivery platform, to deepen its expertise in the grocery segment.
- Raises $35 million in Series B round from Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital; valuation crosses $100M.
- Expands operations to Bengaluru, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune; team grows to 3,300 people.
- Acqui-hires food-delivery app and B2B logistics startup Townrush.
- Raises $120 million in Series C round led by SoftBank, with participation from DST’s Apoletto Managers, Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital.
- Shuts operations in 9 cities, including in Bhopal, Coimbatore, and Nashik.
- Pivots to inventory-led model from marketplace model; does away with 90-minute delivery.
- Crosses Rs 100 crore monthly GMV in January.
- Raises $61.6 million in Series E round led by SoftBank with participation from Tiger Global and Apolette Asia.
- Launches subscription service; crosses 50,000 subscribers within two weeks.
- Ventures into FMCG segment with seven brands
- Raises $220 million as part of Series F round led by SoftBank Vision Fund; gets valued at $800 million.
- Hires 5,000 employees to cater to rising demand; adds 700 kirana shops to its network.
- Raises another $20.2 million from the Times Group.
- Loss widens to Rs 448 crore in FY19, but Grofers says it's on track to double GMV to Rs 5,000 crore in FY20.
- Expands operations to 27 cities.
- Saurabh Kumar steps down from operational role.
- Zomato approaches the Competition Commission of India to acquire 9.3 percent stake in Grofers India.
- CCI approves deal, Zomato invests $100 million in Grofers; Grofers enters the unicorn club.
- Grofers introduces 10-minute grocery delivery in 10 cities.
- Zomato halts in-house grocery delivery service; says investment in Grofers will generate better outcomes.
- Grofers rebrands as Blinkit to focus on a pivot to quick-commerce; achieves target of 300 partner stores.
- Raises $24 million from KTB Asset Management in Series G round.
- Deepinder Goyal, CEO and Managing Director of Zomato, sells his small stake in Grofers India dating back to 2015.
- Zomato, Blinkit sign term-sheet for merger; Zomato grants $150-million loan to Blinkit.
- Zomato acquires remaining stake in Blink Commerce for $567.78 million (Rs 4,447.48 crore).