As Covid struck India around February and lockdown was enforced by the government across the country on March 25, the digital grocery segment emerged to be among the biggest winners during the period.
Thanks to Covid and the following lockdown, Softbank-backed grocery startup Grofers has revised its timeline for IPO. Instead of earlier plans to hit public markets in 2022, the startup, which competes with BigBasket, Amazon Pantry, Flipkart Supermart, and fast-growing JioMart, has said that it will look for listing by the end of next year itself, PTI reported citing co-founder and CEO Albinder Dhindsa. As Covid struck India around February and lockdown was enforced by the government across the country on March 25, the digital grocery segment emerged to be among the biggest winners during the period. Covid-spooked consumers thronged online grocery platforms for bulk buying their monthly groceries and other essential items.
Dhindsa said that while the company had started making an operational profit in January, he now expects it to turn cash positive by end of 2020 as its runway to profitability “accelerated during the lockdown,” he added. The co-founder of among the early players in the online grocery segment, Dhindsa said that the market sentiments are being “observed” as he aims to list “by the end of 2021”.
The company’s FY19 losses had increased 73.44 per cent year-on-year to Rs 448 crore while its revenues also grew by 135.13 per cent. Revenue from operations was Rs 29.83 crore in FY18 that increased to Rs 70.14 crore, FE reported based on documents from Tofler. It was last reportedly valued at around $650 million in December with the funding from SoftBank Vision Fund. The data shared by Grofers with PTI noted that it shipped 4.4 crore items in June with 99.7 per cent accuracy and claimed serving 42 lakh households by the end of May.
Dhindsa said that there has been a 40 per cent growth in basket size vis-à-vis pre-Covid level while there is a 64 per cent first-time online grocery buyers and 15 per cent first time online shoppers. The company had opened three more facilities amid lockdown and two additional are coming up in Bhiwadi and Lucknow. Groferys has 10,000 partner stores as of now and hired more than 3,000 employees for supply chain operations even as it plans to onboard 2,000 warehouse and delivery personnel in the coming months, said Dhindsa.