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Tata Digital in talks to buy stake in hyperlocal delivery startup firm ‘Dunzo’

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Tata Digital, a unit of Tata Sons Ltd, is reportedly in talks to buy close to a controlling stake in hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo.

Also Read :- Tata Digital all set to acquire majority stake in e-pharmacy 1MG

The potential deal may value the six-year-old company at $150-200 million ( ₹1,093-1,457 crore), , said three people aware of the matter on condition of anonymity.

Dunzo Digital Pvt. Ltd, backed by Google, Lightbox and Blume Ventures, among others, had raised $40 million (around ₹290 crore) as part of its Series E funding round earlier this year.

A Bloomberg report in April said the company was planning to raise as much as $150 million to extend its reach and become a $1-billion revenue business in the next two years.

While, Tata Digital had on Monday said that it has agreed to invest up to $75 million ( ₹545 crore) in fitness startup CureFit, less than two weeks after it completed the acquisition of online grocer BigBasket.

It is also reported to be weighing an acquisition of online drug marketplace 1mg, as part of a larger plan to build a super-app for consumer-facing businesses.

Dunzo was launched in 2015 by Kabeer Biswas, Ankur Agarwal, Dalvir Suri and Mukund Jha. The company’s gross merchandise value (GMV) doubled last year despite the pandemic.

The platform is now a $100 million annualized GMV business.

In February 2020, Dunzo raised $11 million in venture debt from Alteria Capital. Alteria Capital had in November 2018 provided the company around $1 million.

In October 2019, Dunzo raised $45 million in a funding round from Google, Lightbox, US-based growth equity firm 3L Capital, and South Korea’s STIC Investment and STIC Ventures.

Its other backers include Blume Ventures, Kalpavriksh Fund and Patni Wealth Advisors, according to VCCEdge.

According to a valuation report filed with the Registrar of Companies, Dunzo was valued at $220 million in June 2020.

Dunzo’s revenue from operations grew over fourfold to ₹77 crore for the year ended 31 March 2020.

Operational expenses grew to ₹414 crore for 2019-20 from ₹185 crore a year ago. The company posted a loss of ₹343 crore for 2019-20, up from ₹169 crore the previous year.

A spokesperson for Dunzo said the company doesn’t comment on speculative news and added: “We’re very surprised by the buyout question, which is not up for discussion at all. That being said, we want to highlight: Dunzo has doubled as a business in the last 75 days and processes over $200 million in annualized gross merchandise (GMV) value.”

“Dunzo’s last round in CY20 (calendar year 2020) was at a significantly higher valuation than the numbers you’ve mentioned.”

Competition in the hyperlocal space has been rising as the pandemic has led to a rush of customers to online commerce.

In July last year, Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart launched a hyperlocal delivery app Flipkart Quick in Bengaluru.

Later in September, Naspers-backed food delivery company Swiggy rolled out Instamart, a new offering in its grocery business, to make last-mile delivery faster and sell a wide assortment of products.

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