The fight for the online grocery delivery market in India is heating up as more and more hyperlocal players are entering the ring with varied USPs, offerings and funding. With major players like BigBasket, LocalBanya, Godrej’s Nature’s Basket, Aaramshop, BestAtLowest and ZopNow dominating the unorganized industry in selected cities, the new entrant – PepperTap wants to simplify the process of buying groceries online by delivering in less than 2 hours and revolutionizing yet one more basic area of modern life.
Conceptualized in May and launched in November this year in Gurgaon, PepperTap was founded by Navneet Singh and Milind Sharma. Prior to venturing into PepperTap, they established India’s premier e-commerce focused reverse logistics company, NuvoEx that is spread in over 12 Indian cities and operates with employee strength of over 800.
In his earlier avatar, Navneet held different positions with companies like Delhivery, World Bank (IFC), ExxonMobil etc. He also had a major role in setting up Indian operations of a UK-based fund and was instrumental in acquisition of GharPay at Delhivery. Milind, after graduating in Economics from Symbiosis, Pune had a stint in Delhivery, where he worked on their Business Development expansion.
Speaking about the PepperTap, Milind says, “We bring convenience to people’s life by letting them do the things they love on their hard-earned weekends and free time. Shopping for groceries is a repetitive and mundane task for any household. We make lives simpler by letting people stay inside their homes on a cold/hot/rainy day by getting their groceries on their doorsteps.”
They recently received $10 million funding from SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital in April. In February this year, they raised nearly $2 million of seed funding from Sequoia Capital. When asked about break-even, he says, “We got our seed funding from Sequoia capital last year. We’ve also recieved our series A funding from Sequoia and SAIF partners this year, both totaling to about $ 11.2 Million. But, there is still sometime to go when we start breaking even.”
They are planning to use the funds for increasing their team of 100 employees to 500 and expanding to more 10 cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, etc. by the end of 2015. Presently they are offering services in Gurgaon and selected areas in Delhi, Noida and Pune.
PepperTap has 15,000+ SKUs across categories including groceries, staples, food & dairy products, household items, beverages, fruits and vegetables on their mobile-based app and provides free delivery on orders above 250. PepperTap app is presently available on Android and iOS platforms.
He says, “We are now recording total orders of more than 800 per day now, going up to about 1000 per day. A lot of our customers place as many as 8 orders per week with us. These are the numbers coming in only from Gurgaon and Dwarka. We soon plan expand to other cities too.”
India is the sixth largest grocery market in the world with online grocery business to grow at a rate of 25-30% year-on-year basis in major cities of India. Milind says, “Grocery is a market, which is still untapped and unorganized, with very little organized players operating in this space. We’ve faced many hurdles, right from poor quality of data from the partners to technophobic delivery staff. However we’ve started easing our way out with these challenges.”
Regarding PepperTap’s target audience, he says, “ Our target audience is anyone who is time strapped in life and is a smartphone user.” He further adds, “Giving the customers a great experience will count in the longer run and will help in sustainability.”