Zepto: Despite funding winter, it is India’s 111th unicorn startup


No wonder the Indian startup ecosystem is facing funding winter. However, there is one startup ‘Zepto’ that emerged as a ‘unicorn startup.’ This startup was initiated by two young boys.

Zepto is the platform that started by delivering groceries. Within a short time, it changed its operating model to a dark store model. This made them the fastest grocery delivery platform. Plus, it is a great competition for Bigbasket, Grofers, etc.

Currently, this startup is delivering in mainly 10 cities, like Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ghaziabad, Delhi, Noida, etc.

Founders of Zepto 

Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra are the founders of Zepto. In 2020, they started the Kirankart startup, but after ten months, they shut down the operations due to a lack of product-market fit. However, within two months, they founded and changed the scenario of the grocery delivery segment.

Zepto’s initial round of funding 

The startup raised around $730,000 in its initial round and started operations in 2021. In the same year, it raised $60 and $100 million and reached a valuation of around $570 million from its investors.

The company came to the spotlight when it raised around $200 million last year with an estimated valuation of around $900 million.

Zepto’s survival in the competitive space 

Various commerce startups closed following the funding winter. But it expanded its presence while managing its cash-burn strategy. While many elite startups ignored sustainability and spent a lot of time expanding, they mindfully and carefully worked on their expansion and growth.

During its unicorn round, the founders said they would focus on the company’s presence in operating areas like Delhi.

The reason behind delivering within 10 minutes 

The 10-minute delivery is possible because of advanced technology and a properly optimized network of micro-warehouses or dark stores.

These dark stores are located in various locations, which reduces the time spent picking and packing things for every order. The efficiency of this process is high because, after an order is placed, the packer is ready to hand over the order to the delivery person.

Investors in Zepto 

Various unpopular ventures like Ricardo Schaefer, Global Founders Capital, etc. were early investors in Zepto. Also, it is backed up by investors like Mangum II, Nexus Venture Partners, StepStone Group, Goodwater Capital, Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, and US-based Permanente Ventures, etc.

StepStone Group, Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, Nexus Venture Partners, etc. are some of the top investors. These investors collectively invested around $200 million.

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