Nearbuy Success Story - How the Paytm-owned Company is Taking Hyperlocal E-Commerce to New Heights?

Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
May 21, 2021 11 min read
Nearbuy Success Story - How the Paytm-owned Company is Taking Hyperlocal E-Commerce to New Heights?

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 Nearbuy.

Owing to a lack of time and fair prices, everybody nowadays prefers online shopping. The eCommerce industry was last valued at $22 billion in 2018 and is estimated to be worth around $200 billion by 2027. Thus, the growth that the eCommerce industry is seeing is beyond comparison. This outstanding growth that the industry has seen and the exponential growth that is predicted for the industry could only be possible with the range of successful players and the pioneers of the idea. Moreover, the e-commerce players have rapidly grown over the past couple of years to become hyper-local entities to serve their customers better.

Gurgaon-based Nearbuy is one of the firsts of Indian hyperlocal eCommerce companies. The Indian hyper-local eCommerce company, founded in 2010, has been built to extend an array of products across diverse categories for the customers to buy almost anything when it comes to services. So, whether the users want to dine online, relax at the best spas, or discover their city most intimately, it is Nearbuy that they looked up to.

Nearbuy.com, which was formerly known as SoSasta, Crazeal, and Groupon, was formed in 2015 and now stands acquired by Paytm since December 7, 2017, when the digital payments giant acquired Nearbuy and its parent organization, Little, signed a merger deal of the two well-funded companies. The company still stands as a hyper-local, deals-based, e-commerce services company owned by Paytm.

Here's a look at Nearbuy.com and its Founders and Team, Mission and Vision, Startup Story, Business Model, Revenue Model, Growth, Funding and Investors, Competitors, Challenges Faced, Future Plans, and more.

Nearbuy - Company Highlights

Company Name Nearbuy.com
Former Name Groupon India
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Parent Company Paytm
Industry Hyperlocal eCommerce
Founded 2015
Founder Ankur Warikoo, Snehesh Mitra, Ankur Sarawagi, Sumeet Kapur, Sachin Kapur, Ravi Shankar
Funding $37.2 mn (December 2021)
Revenue $4.45 mn (Rs 33.28 crore in FY18)
Areas Served India
Website www.nearbuy.com

Nearbuy - Latest News
About Nearbuy and How it Works?
Nearbuy - Mission and Vision
Nearbuy - Founders and Team
Nearbuy - Startup Story
Nearbuy - Name, Logo and Tagline
Nearbuy - Business and Revenue Model
Nearbuy - Revenue and Growth
Nearbuy - Funding and Investors
Nearbuy - Competitors
Nearbuy - Challenges Faced
Nearbuy - Future Plans
Nearbuy - FAQs

Nearbuy - Latest News

As of September 2019, Ankur Warikoo, the co-founder and ex-CEO resigned from Nearbuy. Warikoo announced that he would step down as CEO of Nearbuy in November, handing over the reins to co-founders Ravi Shankar and Snehesh Mitra. Shankar, who was previously the COO of Nearbuy, will take over as CEO, with Mitra taking over as COO of the Paytm-owned firm. Warikoo will remain a shareholder and member of the company's board of directors.

About Nearbuy and How it Works?

Nearbuy.com (Nearbuy India Private Limited) is India's first hyper-local online services platform, built to let consumers and local merchants connect and interact along with helping them get the best deals possible. The company was first founded as SoSasta and was eventually acquired by Nasdaq-listed Groupon Inc in 2011. The company then changed its name to Groupon India in 2013. Finally, the company was named Nearbuy in 2015 when Sequoia Capital India and Ankur Warikoo bought majority stakes in the firm. Ankur Warikoo has no longer been the CEO since November 2019 when Ravi Shankar was appointed for the position.

Nearbuy.com was built with the aim to make things easily available for users. Whatever the needs of the customers may be, whether it is to enjoy fine dining, unwind at the world-class spas, or simply get their city known a little better, Nearbuy.com aimed to make all of them possible for the users.

Nearbuy provides its merchants with a clear branding and visibility-driven network that makes it easy for consumers to find their businesses in and around their locations. Nearbuy is available in 35+ markets, 18+ categories, and 100,000+ unique places, with over 50,000 merchants.

You can download the Nearbuy app from the Google Play Store or the iTunes Store to discover, purchase, and share exciting experiences around you.


Nearbuy - Mission and Vision

The mission statement of Nearbuy says, "We at nearbuy.com are taking hyperlocal ecommerce where it’s never gone before. So, if you thrive on the thrill of operating in a world of firsts, you belong at nearbuy.com."

Nearbuy - Founders and Team

Ankur Warikoo, Ankur Sarawagi, Sumeet Kapur, Sachin Kapur, Ravi Shankar, and Snehesh Mitra are the founders of Nearbuy, which was founded in 2010.

Ravi Shankar, current CEO and Co-Founder of Nearbuy
Ravi Shankar, current CEO and Co-Founder of Nearbuy

Ravi Shankar L

Ravi Shankar did his Bachelors of Engineering before pursuing an MBA Marketing from Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development. Ravi Shankar started with Wipro as a Presales Technical Consultant and went on to become the National Sales Manager there. Shankar was then the Business Director at Groupon. After leaving Groupon, Ravi Shankar joined Little Internet, where he was appointed as the CEO and Board Member. Nearbuy was the next company where he went on to become the COO, who was later appointed as the CEO for a brief period of more than a year. Shankar is currently serving as a Co-founder and Board Member of Nearbuy along with being the SVP at Paytm. Β 

Ankur Warikoo

Mentor, angel investor, and public speaker, Ankur Warikoo is a Hindu College and Michigan State University from where he graduated with a BSc in Physics and an MS in Astronomy and Astrophysics, eventually pursuing an MBA in Finance from the Indian School of Business. Warikoo started as the Head of APAC market at Groupon Inc and was then appointed as the CEO. He was also a co-founder and CEO of Nearbuy and is currently serving as a Board member. Along with this, Warikoo is an Educator and Content Creator at Brand Warikoo and a Board member of the Indian School of Business. Β 

Ankur Sarawagi

Another co-founder of Nearbuy, Ankur Sarawagi is an IIT Bombay alumnus from where he completed his BTech and MTech in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Integrated Manufacturing along with a Minor in Operations Research. Starting from Bain & Company, Ankur joined Groupon as the Director of Sales. However, it was only a brief stint that Ankur had with Groupon, eventually moving on to co-found Nearbuy. Ankur is currently serving as the Vice President, International Growth & Managing Director of WeddingWire India at The Knot Worldwide, which came into being as a result of the merger of WeddingWire and The Knot. Sarawagi has also served as the VP & Country Manager at WeddingWire.

Snehesh Mitra

Snehesh graduated from IIT Kharagpur in Electric and Electronics Engineering. Mitra was the co-founder Urban Blocks and Nearbuy along with being the CTO of the former and CTO, COO, and CPO of the latter organization. Mitra is currently serving as a Product Manager of Google. Along with these, Snehesh had also previously worked with Algo Works, Mobicules Systems, NDS Limited, Headstrong, HCL Technologies, and more in numerous key designations.

Sumeet Kapur

Sumeet Kapur is also known as the co-founder of Nearbuy. Kapur was a student of Delhi University from where he completed Bcom. (Hons.) before moving on to The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and completing his CA degree. In his career, Sumeet has been the Co-founder and Director of Finance at Edutopper, CFO and Regional Financial Director of Emerging Markets (APAC), Co-founder and CFO at Nearbuy.com, Co-founder at Inflexion Point and is currently serving as a Founder and CEO at Wellcure.com. Β  Β 

Sachin Kapur

Sachin Kapur is also a Delhi University alumnus, who next went to obtain a PGDBM, Management from the Centre for Management Development. Starting with a brief stint at Fever 104 FM, Sachin went to become a Sr. Manager Marketing and Strategy at BigRock. Leaving the company after a year and a half, Sachin Kapur then moved on to become the CMO of Groupon. He eventually became the CO-founder and CMO of Nearbuy. Presently, Sachin is serving as Sr. Director Marketing at Coupang.

Nearbuy, owned by Paytm, is currently around 160+ employees strong.

Nearbuy - Startup Story

Nearbuy was formed or rather named in 2015. The company was founded as SoSasta in 2009, but it was acquired in 2011 by the Chicago-based parent of Nearbuy, Groupon Inc., in 2011 with an aim to begin operations in India. It then changed its name to Groupon India in 2013.

Ankur Warikoo and Ravi Shankar worked for Groupon as executives, with the former leading the company after the founders of SoSasta left.
After Sequoia enabled the exit of Groupon Inc in 2015, Groupon India was rebranded as Nearbuy. Nearbuy, along with Little, was purchased by the payments company Paytm in a distress deal two years later. Paytm helped promote a share exchange arrangement between Little and Nearbuy shareholders, which resulted in Nearbuy becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Little Internet.

The purchase price for both companies was set at INR 272.31 crore. Following the acquisition, the company gained access to a large pool of capital along with a large Paytm userbase. It, however, struggled to make an impact because sales were unable to keep up with expenses. The company had total revenue of INR 33.28 crore in FY18, with losses of INR 49.11 crore.

Nearbuy - Name, Logo and Tagline

Nearbuy's old name is Groupon India. After the rebranding of Nearbuy in August 2015, Groupon became a minority stakeholder in nearbuy.com.

Nearbuy' s Company Logo
Nearbuy' s Company Logo

"The Lifestyle App" is the tagline of Nearbuy. Nearbuy comes in and says "Let us give you a discount for visiting the place through us."

Nearbuy - Business and Revenue Model

Nearbuy is an Online-to-Offline services ecommerce platform, which is currently owned and funded by Paytm, established to connect the consumers with India's largest network of local businesses. nearbuy.com makes it easy for the consumers to discover their worlds along with helping them avail exclusive deals across categories such as restaurants, spas, salons, movie halls, retail stores, amusement parks and more.

The key highlights of Nearbuy business and revenue model are as follows:

  • Nearbuy makes a contract with local stores and service-based businesses such as spas and salons.
  • Retailers promise to lower their rates in exchange for being featured on the website.
  • Nearbuy makes the majority of its profits by charging a fee of 2% to 25% of the sale price.
  • Retailers receive a substantial amount of revenue in exchange for providing such steep discounts on the website.
  • They often accept advertisements on the website, increasing the company's revenue.

Nearbuy - Revenue and Growth

In terms of sales, FY18 was another low year for the firm. Though the company's overall revenue rose by just 4.9% from INR 31.73 crore in FY17 to INR 33.28 crore in FY18, its basic turnover decreased by 16.4% from INR 28.22 crore to INR 23.58 crore. This simply suggests that the minuscule rise in sales was not due to the company's main operations. Instead, it leaned on a 2.76X increase in other revenue, which increased from INR 3.52 crore to INR 9.7 crore.

Nearbuy.com claims to be present in more than 33 cities across 18+ categories. Furthermore, the company has more than 68,000 merchants to deal with across 100,000+ unique locations. Here's some more growth highlights of the company, as reported on March 2019:

  • It has a monthly active users count of 3 million
  • It receives around 7.5 million monthly visits
  • Nearbuy app has been downloaded by 4.9 million users
  • Nearbuy has 68,000+ merchant outlets
  • It has a market share of 88% in India

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Nearbuy - Funding and Investors

The Nearbuy funding is as follows:

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Apr 3, 2017 Venture Round $15M Sequoia Capital India
Sep 13, 2016 Debt Financing β‚Ή150M BlackSoil
Mar 10, 2015 Venture Round $20M Sequoia Capital India

Nearbuy - Competitors

Top competitors of Nearbuy are:

Nearbuy - Challenges Faced

The biggest obstacle, according to Ankur, the former CEO of Nearbuy, was to build the group, to which Nearbuy belongs. Users would mistakenly think of the business as a deal and discount platform, which is exactly what Groupon was. The mission of Nearbuy is to put the offline world online in a way that allows users to discover, buy, and save.

Simply informing consumers that they can purchase their favorite restaurants, spas, salons, entertainment zones, hotels, brands, and other services online and then walk in to consume them while saving money is a huge challenge in and of itself. Few people get it, but the majority do not. They don't consider it a normal part of their lives.

"I often say this internally - our job at Nearbuy is not to grow the company, rather to build a completely new way for Indian consumers to explore the offline world which was a big task," says Ankur.

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Nearbuy - Future Plans

Nearbuy expects revenue of INR 255.99 crore and a net profit of INR 17.73 crore by 2022-23. The estimated sales, according to Warikoo, are reasonable and vary from the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV, or total value of merchandise), which is much higher.

β€œWe are capitalized and on a growth expansion mode. As long as we are unit economics positive, we can manage our fixed costs with the investment raised out of this merger. The plan is to grow this number to 250,000 in three years. We have a maximum available universe of roughly around 350,000 merchants” says Warikoo.

Warikoo claims that discretionary spending among Indian consumers has increased by more than doubling to 7% of individual income over the last decade.

Nearbuy - FAQs

What does Nearbuy do?

Nearbuy.com (Nearbuy India Private Limited) is India's first hyper-local online platform, allowing consumers and local merchants to connect and interact. Nearbuy.com makes it possible for you to enjoy fine dining, unwind at world-class spas, or simply get to know your city better.

Who founded Nearbuy?

Nearbuy was founded by Ankur Warikoo, Ravi Shankar and Snehesh Mitra in 2015.

Which company owns Nearbuy?

Paytm owns Nearbuy.

How does Nearbuy make money?

Nearbuy did not charge its merchant anything for setup. Customers are only charged a fee for each purchase they make. Depending on the popularity and category, the commission ranges between 2% and 25%.

Which companies do Nearbuy compete with?

Top competitors of Nearbuy are Gmarket, Magicpin, Paytm, Grofers India Pvt, Shopee, Blibli, Amazon India, Swiggy, CashKaro, and LivingSocial.

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