Blinkit (ex-Grofers) Success Story: What is the Zomato-owned Company Planning Next?

Rishabh Rathi Rishabh Rathi Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Aug 2, 2022 17 min read
Blinkit (ex-Grofers) Success Story: What is the Zomato-owned Company Planning Next?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Blinkit (Grofers).

As we move forward in the world of modernisation, we tend to scroll the screens of our mobile phones too often and for many reasons. We swipe our mobile screens to shop, learn, relax, and fulfill an endless list of requirements that we need them for. Using our mobile phones has surely been quite a help, they have literally made the world seem like an easily navigable space. Our daily needs and requirements are now nearer than ever with mobile phones. Today, we don't need to go out and purchase our daily goods, grains, and veggies from the market. All we need is our mobile phone with an internet connection!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind while talking about ordering daily goods and groceries? Obviously, it is the list of fruits, vegetables, and grocery needs that you are going to order but soon after that, it is the application or the website that is to come up next in order!

There are numerous applications, websites, and companies now from where you can order, among which Grofers/Blinkit has been one of the most prominent names. This e-commerce company has offered us with variety of daily goods that made our lives easy.

Softbank-backed online grocery delivery unicorn Grofers has been rebranded to Blinkit to keep up with its motto of delivering groceries in the blink of an eye. Blinkit currently stands acquired by Zomato after the foodtech unicorn bought the former in a $569 mn (Rs 4,447 crore) deal on June 24, 2022.

Check this article to know more details about Blinkit, its Founders and how it started, its business model, revenue model, funding and investors, challenges, competitors, and more.

Grofers - Company Highlights

Startup Name Grofers
Headquarters Gurugram, India
Sector Online Shopping/Ecommerce/Grocery Delivery
Founders Saurabh Kumar, Albinder Dhindsa
Founded December 2013
Valuation $1.01 billion (September 2021)
Revenue/Turnover $345 mn (Rs 2725 crores in FY21)
Total Funding $1 billion (March 2022)
Area Served India
Parent Organization Grofers International Pvt Ltd
Website blinkit.in / grofers.com

Grofers - About
Grofers - Founders and Team
Grofers - Startup Story | How it started?
Grofers - Name, Tagline and Logo
Grofers - Mission and Vision
Grofers - Business Model
Grofers - Revenue Model
Grofers - Funding and Investors
Grofers - Revenue and Growth
Grofers - Startup Challenges and Controversies
Grofers - Competitors
Grofers - Future Plans

Grofers - About

The Gurugram-based Indian on-demand online grocery delivery service Grofers, which is now known as Blinkit, was founded in the year 2013. This e-commerce startup platform provides a variety of daily needs products ranging from groceries, bakery items, baby care items, and many more to its customers.

From the mobile application of Blinkit, the customers can buy and order their products at a scheduled time and the Grofers employees deliver these items to the customers. Currently, the company operates in over 28 cities in India as Blinkit.

How do Grofers deliver their orders in 10 minutes?

In June 2021, Grofers announced that it has already revamped its delivery service, which will make the deliveries within 10 minutes of the order being placed online. The popular online grocery marketplace also assured that in cities where Grofers is present, the company will make sure of delivering the orders in under 10 minutes within the next 45 days. This promise of 10-minute delivery has received huge criticism from people all around the country, who have accused Grofers of "exploiting" their workforce to make such a promise a reality.

The hate that the company has received was fittingly replied by one of the founders of Grofers, Albinder Dhindsa, who said,

"It breaks my heart that instead of celebrating innovation coming from India, some of us stay cynical of people who are trying to break the status quo."

While clarifying how Grofers makes its 10-minute delivery possible, Dhindsa mentioned that the company has its partner stores within 2 km of the customers, which is a big plus. The company has more than 60 partner stores in Delhi and has grown to over 30 partner stores in Gurgaon already, along with an adequate number of partner stores also in other serviceable cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, etc.

Dhindsa further pointed out in his Twitter post that the stores are so densely located that 90% of the orders can be delivered by Grofers easily within 15 minutes even if the drivers drove at 10 km/hr. Moreover, the in-store planning and management of Grofers, empowered by the advanced technologies, are so organized now that they can pack their orders within 3 minutes of receiving the order. Also, the riders of Grofers are "not (dis)incentivised to deliver orders fast. They do it at their own pace and rhythm", said Dhindsa. The founder concluded by citing the last 2 months' data since they started the 10-minute grocery delivery process and claimed that Grofers has seen no reported rider accidents.

Here's what the founder has posted via his Twitter handle on August 28, 2021:

Now as Blinkit, Grofers is doubly geared up to deliver groceries in the blink of an eye. Albinder Dhindsa, Co-founder and CEO of Blinkit (ex-Grofers) on being asked why the keen focus on quick commerce, said that the 10-minute delivery that Blinkit promises should not just be possible but a must in the fast-paced life that people are living now. This will help them save time for more important things.

Zomato Acquired Blinkit, which is now a Zomato Subsidiary!

Zomato acquired Blinkit after months of talks and discussions, loans, and what now. The board of the popular Deepinder Goyal-led foodtech company finally approved the Blinkit acquisition on June 24, 2022, when the online grocery delivery company was acquired by Zomato in an all-stock deal worth $568 mn. The board of the latter the acquisition of up to 33,018 equity shares of Blink Commerce Pvt Ltd from its shareholders. This was nodded to for a total purchase consideration, which amounted to Rs 4,447.48 crore ($569 mn), as per the recent BSE disclosure of the company. Blinkit's earlier valuation of $1 bn received a haircut of 43%. The deal also mentioned about Zomato Hyperpure, the B2B arm of the company, acquiring BlinkIt’s B2B business Hands on Trade Private Limited (HOTPL) warehousing and ancillary services business for Rs 60.7 crore, as per the accessed filings.

Grofers - Founders and Team

Grofers was founded by two IIT Graduates Albinder Dhindsa and Saurabh Kumar.

Albinder Dhindsa, Saurabh Kumar | Founders, Grofers/Blinkit
Albinder Dhindsa, Saurabh Kumar | Founders, Grofers/Blinkit

Albinder Dhindsa

Albinder Dhindsa is one of the founders and the CEO of Blinkit (ex- Grofers). Dhindsa is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, after which he completed his MBA from the Columbia Business School. Dhindsa first started his career as a Transportation Analyst at URS Corporation, after which he worked with Cambridge Systematics and UBS Investment Bank as an Associate and Senior Associate. Dhindsa then joined Zomato where he worked for more than 2.5 years as the Head of International Operations. He eventually left the company to co-found Grofers (now Blinkit) in December 2013.

Saurabh Kumar Β  Β 

Saurabh had been another founder of Grofers. He was a B.Tech, Civil Engineering student of IIT Bombay. He eventually went for an MS, in Transportation Engineering that he completed from The University of Texas at Austin. Saurabh also worked with Cambridge Systematics where he first met Albinder. Kumar left the company to work as an Associate and a COO in two different companies - Opera Solutions and Rasilant Technologies Pvt Ltd., finally founding Grofers/Blinkit with Albinder, which came live with its app in December 2014. Saurabh had left Grofers on June 18, 2021. Kumar next founded Warpli, an e-commerce platform that is often tagged as the "e-commerce of future" in September 2021. As per the latest news, Kumar's newly founded startup is planning to expand quick commerce into the turf of Amazon, Nykaa, and their likes.

Jacob Singh was the CTO of Grofers, who stepped down from the company and his position in July 2020. He largely contributed to the design, launch, and scaling of Grofers' paid loyalty program. A Berkeley City College graduate, Singh worked with Acquia as a Country Head before joining Grofers and is now serving as a CTO in residence at Sequoia Capital.

Blinkit raised Rishi Arora to the Co-founder position two months before the acquisition deal came through in June 2022, as revealed by sources close to the company on July 12, 2022. Arora has stuck with Blinkit for 8+ years and served as the Senior Vice President of Operation before he received his promotion.

Furthermore, it was also reported that the company has also appointed Sajal Gupta, who is a Zomato executive as the CTO of the company. Gupta was with Zomato for 5+ years before he moved to Blinkit in January 2022, as goes his LinkedIn profile. These promotions were reportedly revealed on the company's internal communication platform, Slack, according to the sources.

Grofers housed somewhere around 2000 employees in 2021.

Grofers - Startup Story | How it started?

Albinder, after his graduation, worked as a transportation analyst at URS Company in the USA. While working he met Saurabh Kumar and kept in touch with him with absolutely no intentions of any entrepreneurial motives.

Both Albinder and Saurabh found that there was a huge gap in the delivery industry. They both thought to tap the opportunity as it was a time when many startups were emerging. They felt the need to sort the unorganized hyperlocal space in the transaction made between merchants and consumers.

That is when they started to build a base for their startup. Their idea was to provide a one-stop solution for the customers' local delivery needs by having on-demand pickup and drop services. This was to facilitate the logistics from the shops around their locality like grocery stores, medical stores, and restaurants for the consumers. Initially, both of them also facilitated the delivery of groceries for customers from the neighbourhood stores and supermarkets.


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Blinkit is the new name of Grofers after the completion of its rebranding attempt on December 13, 2021. The coinage of the new name of Grofers is in line with the aim of the company to deliver groceries in an instant, i.e., in the blink of an eye.

"Lets Blink it" or #letsblinkit goes the tagline of the brand. Β 

Blinkit (formerly Grofers) Logo
Blinkit (formerly Grofers) Logo

The previous name of Blinkit was Grofers, which was a portmanteau of two words – Grocery and Gophers, which particularly meant a person who runs errands. The tagline of Grofers is β€˜We get it’ which was initiated with an online advertisement campaign.

Grofers Logo
Grofers Logo

Grofers - Mission and Vision

Blinkit, which was earlier called Grofers, now has a new mission statement that reads β€œinstant commerce indistinguishable from magic.” Blinkit solely believes in serving its customers with instant grocery deliveries within 10 minutes. Prospering in the quick commerce space is what Blinkit currently envisions.

Grofers - Business Model

Grofers work on a marketplace business model and might also be referred to as the hyperLocal on-demand logistics system. It aims to replace the need for consumers to travel to the local shops to buy consumer goods rather than wanting them to order online. This startup does not own any grocery stores or warehouses.

It just partners with the local grocery shops in the city and then sends its delivery boys to pick up the items ordered by the consumers from these stores. They accept orders from their mobile application or the website. This tie-up system helps the local grocery shop owners get more orders and also Grofers make a profit from these orders as the company charges some commission.

Here are some major insights into the inventory-based Blinkit business model:

Key Partners

Grofers, or Blinkit, as it is now called, partners with local merchants and brands, logistics partners, payment providers, investors and its acquisitions.

Key Activities

Some of the major activities that Grofers is involved in include:

  • It delivers groceries
  • Does warehousing
  • Manages supply chain
  • Maintains its platform and technology
  • Takes care of shipping
  • Manages logistics
  • Develops innovative software and products
  • Services customers

Key Resources

Blinkit uses a bunch of resources that include:

  • Cutting-edge technology
  • Intellectual properties
  • Advanced IT and communications infrastructure
  • Streamlined channels of delivery
  • A network of local merchants
  • Funding rounds

Customer Segments

Grofers assumes all of the individuals, who are residing in India as its customers, including the local merchants.

Advertising Channels

Grofers or Blinkit markets through blogs, and social media channels and also relies heavily on the word of mouth marketing. Β 

Grofers - Revenue Model

The revenue model of Grofers is similar to the commission-based revenue model. Grofers has tied up with the local shop owners and merchants for grocery and daily needs goods in the local areas. Grofers charges these merchants some commission on these orders. The commission ranges from 8% to 15% when the orders are below 700 and charges 12% to 15% when the orders are below 1000. Grofers also charge a delivery fee when the order is below the amount of INR 250.


Albinder Dhindsa: CEO And Co-Founder Of Grofers
Albinder Dhindsa is the CEO & Co-Founder of Grofers, an online delivery facilityfor everyday needs such as grocery, bakery items, flowers, fruits, andvegetables. Apart from these, Grofers also provides delivery services for babycare products. Unlike most businessmen/businesswomen, Dhindsa had no …

Grofers - Funding and Investors

Grofers has been quite fortunate when it comes to its investors and funding. To date, Grofers has raised a total of around $1 bn in funds. The recent fundraising round was led by Zomato on March 11, 2022, where the foodtech major infused $100 mn into Blinkit. The quick commerce unicorn has also confirmed that the $100 mn fundraise is the first tranche of a $400 mn funding round and that it will see more funds coming throughout next week. However, the foodtech giant extended a $150 mn loan in its stead.

The online grocery delivery service startup raised $100 million from the Indian food delivery giant, Zomato, which was approved on August 16, 2021. This helped the online grocery delivery major to reach a valuation of more than $1 billion and join the unicorn club. Grofers was last valued at $1.01 billion after the August 2021 round. The quick commerce unicorn is looking to raise funds close to $500 mn from its existing investor and owner, Zomato via a fresh round of funding, which acquired the Dhindsa-led company on 24th June 2022.

Here are the Grofers' Funding Details to date-

Date Amount Round Lead Investors
March 16, 2022 $150 Million Debt Financing Zomato
March 11, 2022 $100 Million - Zomato
September 29, 2021 $16.7 Million - KTB Ventures
August 17, 2021 $100 Million - Zomato
November 13, 2020 $55 Million Venture Round SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF) and other existing investors
December 31, 2019 - - -
November 18, 2019 $43.04 Million Corporate Round Grofers International Pte Ltd
October 29, 2019 $18.83 Million Series F Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd
August 19, 2019 $70 Million Series F Softbank Vision Fund
July 15, 2019 $10 Million Series F Abu Dhabi Capital Group
May 15, 2019 $220 Million Series F Softbank Vision Fund
May 16, 2018 $53.81 Million Series E Softbank Vision Fund
October 25, 2017 $12.91 Million Series D Grofers International
September 1, 2017 $839K Debt Financing Trifecta Capital Advisors
November 2015 $120 Million Series D Cyriac Roeding – Roeding Ventures, Softbank, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global
April 2015 $35 Million Series C Sequoia Capital
February 2015 $10 Million Series B Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global
December 2014 $500k Seed Round/Series A Sequoia Capital, Deepinder Goyal

Grofers - Revenue and Growth

Grofers (presently Blinkit) is currently delivering 1.25 lakh orders on a daily basis. Blinkit believed that it could be a quick commerce company and deliver all the products of daily needs to the consumers and the company currently has currently reported processing 1 million+ orders in a week, across 12 cities in India, as of December 13, 2021. Β 

With over 5000 products assorted on its website, which are ready for home delivery in as fast as 10 minutes, Grofers is already one of the largest e-grocery companies in India and has witnessed quite a growth all along the way.

Blinkit Acquired by Zomato

Blinkit looked forward to a merger with Zomato in a share-swap deal. The reports dated March 15, 2022, mentioned that Zomato would be approaching the CCI to further the talks of a merger with Blinkit. The merger talks said that the largest investor of Blinkit, Softbank will hold 4-5% stakes in the foodtech giant. According to the previous reports, the deal was set to be finalised in a 10:1 ratio, which stated to value Blinkit somewhere around $700-800 mn, slightly lower than $1 bn, which was the last-known valuation of Blinkit. The deal was finally approved by the Zomato board on June 24, 2022, when the foodtech giant acquired the company.

Blinkit is shutting its warehouses down, as per reports dated July 18, 2022, and is looking to integrate its operations with the popular foodtech company, Zomato. Most of its own warehouses, especially the backend fulfilment warehouses, would be shut down while the Blinkit operations will see a merger with Zomato's B2B restaurant supply business Hyperpure. Earlier in March 2022, a similar action of Blinkit was noted when it paused its business and closed numerous Blinkit dark stores to keep with its 10-minute delivery promise.

The losses of Blinkit has come down every month, said Zomato CFO Akshant Goyal. Blinkit posted Rs 204 crore in losses in January 2022, which came down to Rs 92.9 crore in losses in the month of July 2022. Operating leverage and improved execution are the major reasons that are pulling the losses down. Besides, the gross order value (GOV), which was earlier registered at 51 lakhs in January 2022 and 79 lakhs in May 2022, might rise up to become 83 lakhs by July end. Β 

The revenues of the company have witnessed a laudable growth of around 78.52%. Earlier recorded at Rs 1,282.3 crore in FY19, the company's revenue from operations was revealed to be Rs 2,289.2 crore in FY20.

The total expenses of Blinkit ballooned by 79.4% to Rs 3,105.8 crore in FY20 from Rs 1,984.6 crore in FY19. This means that Grofers spent Rs 1.55 to earn a single rupee of revenue during FY20. Though the Albinder Dhindsa-led firm increased its losses by 68.2% to become Rs 916.29 crore in FY20, which was earlier listed at around Rs 702.3 crore in FY19, the EBITDA margin of the company remained almost stable at -48.6%.

The company has last reported to pivot to a 10-minute grocery delivery platform from being an inventory-led stock-up eCommerce business. Though it is still time to discover the impacts of this pivot, the financial results of Blinkit for FY21 speak of the company's 26.2% growth, where the Blinkit revenue grew from Rs 2160 crore to Rs 2725 crore. Β 

Blinkit Revenue Breakdown

Blinkit Revenue Verticals FY21 FY20
Sale of Goods Rs 2464.82 cr Rs 1947.46 cr
Warehousing and Delivery Services Rs 64.33 cr Rs 50.23 cr
Marketplace Commisions Rs 115.52 cr Rs 99.05 cr
Other Operating Revenue Rs 3.46 cr Rs 1.49 cr
Advertising Services Rs 76.87 cr Rs 61.77 cr
Total Revenue Rs 2725 cr Rs 2160 cr

Blinkit Expenses Breakdown

Blinkit Expenses Verticals FY21 FY20
Purchase of Goods Rs 2340.42 cr Rs 2108.21 cr
Outsourced Manpower Cost Rs 123.60 cr Rs 163.67 cr
Expenses of Employee Benefits Rs 58.40 cr Rs 65.63 cr
Rent, Repair and Utilities Rs 27.77 cr Rs 67.58 cr
Advertising Promotional Expenses Rs 94.80 cr Rs 200.40 cr
Other Operating and Admin Expenses Rs 147.32 cr Rs 77.83 cr
Freight and Packaging Expenses Rs 134.40 cr Rs 146.06 cr
Costs of Technology and Payment Gateway Rs 58.40 cr Rs 65.63 cr
Total Expenditure Rs 3299 cr Rs 3105.8 cr

The EBITDA margins of the company came down from -38.47% to -16.48% during FY21. Though Blinkit improved on its EBITDA, the company has an accumulated loss of Rs 6126.6 crore ($817 million) when last reported in March 2021. The Blinkit losses were registered at Rs 916.29 crore in FY20, which came down to Rs 557.76 crore in FY21.

Blinkit Financials FY19-FY21
Blinkit Financials FY19-FY21

Grofers - Startup Challenges and Controversies

While in just a few years Grofers has got a lot of success in the market, it had to face many challenges and hiccups too. Whether it was their delayed service or quality issues of the products, Grofers has seen many hurdles in its journey.

Also, due to its unsuccessful operations, it had to shut down its operations in major cities like Bhopal, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, and so on. One of their initial challenges was also to find the right people in their team who would align with the vision that the company aimed to have and work upon it.

Blinkit had splurged around Rs 600 cr between November and February to expand its business and has also included numerous discounts for its users. However, this strategy of offering huge discounts seems to be backfiring. This is why Blinkit is looking to cut costs and corners, thereby reducing its cash burn.

Grofers had been facing numerous backlashes from critics with the start of the New Year 2022. Blinkit sacked its employees across some of the major cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata on March 14, 2022. This firing exercise has reportedly impacted around 5% of its total workforce. Blinkit has also been reported to be delaying its vendor payments lately.


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Grofers - Competitors

With no surprise as every other e-commerce platform flourishes with increasing speed, even the online grocery market has grown really big in India. Many big brands and supermarkets are now diverting their interests to selling online and all the existing players need to retain their brands and customers.

Similar is the case with Grofers. Some of the biggest competitors of Grofers are:

Since the inception of Grofers, it has been the investors' favourite but it has tough competition in the e-commerce market. Also, with the entry of the e-commerce giant Amazon into the online grocery market, it is always a big threat to brands like Grofers.


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Grofers - Future Plans

Blinkit earlier boasted of having around 13% of the total market share, thereby being the third-largest of the online grocery delivery platforms after Bigbasket and Amazon. Bigbasket is leading the market with around 37% of the total market shares, after which comes Amazon with its 15% shares.

As a Zomato subsidiary, Blinkit strives to be leading the Zomato arm for online delivery.

FAQs

How do Grofers make money?

Revenue Model For Grofers. The company provides a service to its users with its inventory-based model. In return, Grofers takes a commission on every order, which can be anywhere from 8% to 15%.

Are Grofers products good?

Grofers is authentic. The product quality is good as well the price is less than compared to other online sites.

Can I sell on Grofers?

You need to register with Grofers and have a seller account with them. Grofers seller registration will give you a credible platform and a huge customer base to sell your products.

How does Grofers work?

Grofers is an e-commerce marketplace for your daily shopping. It allows you to shop from your favorite store in your neighborhood and get delivery within 10 minutes. You can shop for Groceries, Fruits & Vegetables, Bakery items, Flowers, Meat, Pet Care, Baby Care, and Cosmetics products with just a few taps.

How long does Grofers take to deliver?

Grofers rebranded as Blinkit aims to deliver orders within 10 minutes.

Is Grofers rebranded?

Yes, Grofers successfully completed a rebranding attempt on December 13, 2021, when the brand published its new name as "Blinkit".

Is Blinkit acquired?

Blinkit currently stands acquired by Zomato, which acquired the Albinder Dhindsa-led company in a deal worth $569 mn (Rs 4,447 crore) on June 24, 2022.

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