SoftBank leads $62 mn funding round in Grofers at lower valuation

Gurgaon-based online grocery startup Grofers India Pvt Ltd has raised Rs 400 crore (around $62 million) led by existing investor SoftBank, according to a media report on Friday.

The Times of India reported that existing investor US-based Tiger Global and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner also participated in the round.

The investment saw Grofers’ valuation fall by 20% to $300 million as compared to what it was valued at during its last fundraise in November 2015, The Times of India report said.

Calls and messages sent by VCCircle to Grofers’ co-founder Albinder Dhindsa did not immediately elicit a response at the time of filing this report.

SoftBank and Grofers confirmed the development to The Times of India.

Grofers last raised money in November 2015 in a round led by SoftBank. Existing investors Yuri Milner’s Apoletto Managers, Tiger Global, and Sequoia Capital also participated then. The quantum of funds raised then was $120 million (Rs 780 crore).

Grofers’ revenue for the year through March 2016 had fallen 32% to Rs 58.34 lakh from Rs 86.38 lakh in the previous financial year.

Net loss widened 15 times to Rs 60.87 crore from Rs 3.9 crore. Total expenses surged to Rs 61.45 crore from Rs 4.77 crore. The company’s financial statement for 2016-17 is not currently available.

Grofers was founded by Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa in 2013.

In January 2016, it shut its operations in nine cities as it didn’t see any traction despite running costly marketing campaigns. It even pivoted its business model to an inventory-led one.

Six months later, in June 2016, Grofers laid off some employees and revoked campus job offers as part of operational restructuring.

In an interaction with VCCircle in December 2017, co-founder Dhindsa said that the company is targeting middle-class customers and helping smaller brands reach more consumers through data analytics. He also added that Grofers is closing the growth gap with BigBasket. “While they are doing Rs 120 crore a month, we see ourselves getting to Rs 100 crore a month by March. We see a clear differentiation as we are strong in the northern region and they are strong in the southern region,” he explained.

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