#Asia Delivering groceries, Grofers bags big bucks from SoftBank

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Delivery Boy Photo Credit: Antonio Foncubierta

Delivery Boy Photo Credit: Antonio Foncubierta

When that delivery boy on his tiny two-wheeler, carrying a red backpack that says Grofers, whizzes past you on a road in India, you may not cast him a second glance. But now you should.

In a whopper of a deal, Grofers, a two-year-old startup that delivers groceries and other products from local stores to customers on demand, has snapped up US$120 million in a series C funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank, the Times of India reported today.

Others who took part in the round were Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital and Apoletto Managers. This was the third funding for Grofers this year, and one of the largest investments at this stage raised by any Indian tech startup, the paper said.

Hyperlocal

India Grofers startup logistics service for small stores

Gurgaon-based Grofers is an ecommerce startup that connects consumers to brick-and-mortar stores through its mobile app. Users can order from over 120,000 products that include groceries, fruits, vegetables, cosmetics, electronics, bakery items, and flowers.

The startup promises to be at the doorstep within 90 minutes. Going by its success, it looks like many Indians would rather have their stuff delivered than step out of their home.

“We are happy to welcome SoftBank on board as a partner as we try to build a marketplace for consumable products,” Albinder Dhindsa, founder and CEO of Grofers, was quoted as saying.

The startup has over 10,000 small merchants on board in cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Hyderabad, and hopes to expand with the latest funding.

Ecommerce players have also been moving into this hyperlocal space, making use of India’s huge number of well-stocked family-run local stores. Flipkart has its Nearby app, Amazon has Kirana Now, while other startups like Big Basket and Peppertap have emerged as well.

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