Global technology giant Google has made its first direct investment in an Indian startup, a Bangalore-based daily tasks management app Dunzo, run by Dunzo Digital Pvt Ltd. The global search engine giant has invested $10-12 million in the hyperlocal startup in a Series B funding round, reported The Economic Times. The investment is part of Google’s Next Billion Users (NBU) push. The startup has plans to expand its business in other cities across the country. The mobile app helps the users with an assortment of jobs. The company’s website reads, “We get things done for you. Everything that just takes up time at your end can be dunzo-ed. Need to pick something up? Get things fixed? Or have trivial paperwork to do? You create, We complete. Be it visits to the grocery store, special plans for occasions or fixing something at home, dunzo will get it done.”
The hyper-local startup Dunzo is currently handling 3,500-4,000 tasks a day. As per information services group VCCircle, Dunzo raised &1.18 million from Aspada Investment Advisors, in its Series A funding round in November 2016. With the latest investment in Series B investment, Dunzo has been valued at $30 million post-money, while the pre-money valuation is dicey and numerous startups in this segment have been shut down or sold. The other startups in the sector which are performing reasonably well are BookMyChotu and DoneThing. Both of these operate in the Delhi-National Capital Region.
Google has been making a series of moves to expand its market in India, especially with its new Next Billion Users (NBU) program. Latest moves by Google in the country, include WiFi at major railway stations, YouTube Lite, Android Go and Android One. Google specifically has India in its priority list as it considers India has emerged as a key battleground for internet companies. Nevertheless, most Indians are not connected online, hence Google is making a concerted effort to get people online and to get them using specific services, even where internet access is poor. This is why Google is adopting a two-pronged approach to the problem, it’s pushing to improve internet connectivity, while also making its own services easier to access on poor connections.