TaxiForSure founder, others invest in Hyperlocal delivery startup Daily Ninja

2 Aug, 2016

Hyperlocal delivery startup Daily Ninja, operated by Daily Ninja Delivery Services Pvt. Ltd, has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round of funding from a group of investors, led by existing investors Aprameya Radhakrishna, founder of TaxiForSure and Venk Krishnan of NuVentures. The funds were raised via the LetsVenture platform and Tracxn Syndicate, it said in a statement.

Other investors who participated in the round include Anupam Mittal, CEO and founder of Shaadi.com and the People Group; Kunal Shah of Freecharge; Tracxn Labs; Subramanya SV, former partner at Bessemer Venture Partners; and Ravi Garikipati, vice president of engineering at Flipkart. Besides, other Indian and Singapore-based investors also participated in the round.

The funds invested will be used primarily to upgrade operations and expand customer base, it said.

A delivery service for groceries, Daily Ninja was founded by BITS Pilani graduates Sagar Yarnalkar and Anurag Gupta in July 2015. Prior to establishing Daily Ninja, Yarnalkar and Gupta co-founded Appspire Technologies, a Mumbai-based mobile services company. While Gupta was formerly with Goldman Sachs, Yarnalkar previously co-founder another startup taxi aggregator Scoot, which he exited profitably.

Daily Ninja generates revenues via subscriptions from customers. Currently based out of Bangalore, the startup aims to expand to Pune and Hyderabad by the end of the year, Yarnalkar told Techcircle.in. The company claims to be fulfilling more than 6,000 orders per day. It differentiates itself from other players in the space by focusing on certain pockets of the city, "Our current cost per delivery is Rs 3 which we will cut down to half as we grow. Scheduled deliveries in morning also help us move fast and avoid traffic while having 100% fulfilment," said Yarnalkar.

The company operates on a model that is inventory-led at the backend and marketplace-driven at the front end. It partners with local vendors to deliver groceries and uses a coupon system which customers can buy from the vendors. Customers then use the coupons to indicate how many items they would like to be delivered. The startup also has a warehouse where it stores vegetables and other fresh produce. The firm does not have its own delivery fleet but sources it from the vendors.

"Sagar and team are building a distribution Trojan Horse with negligible customer acquisition costs," said Anupam Mittal, CEO and founder of the People Group.

Yarnalkar said the firm intends to use the funds to reach 20,000 households.

"The team is solving the challenges that exist in the supply of daily consumer essentials by leveraging the network of existing low-cost operators, making it scalable and profitable at the same time. In addition, the company has a strong team with execution capabilities to scale this model efficiently," said Neha Singh, co-founder of Tracxn.

In September 2015, Daily Ninja raised seed funding from TaxiForSure (TFS) co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna, FindYogi's Naman Sarawagi, Delyver's Afsal Salu and six others.

The funding comes at a time when many startups in the hyperlocal grocery delivery space have halted operations as investors tightened their purse strings.

The most recent shut-down was Nagpur-based hyperlocal marketplace GetNow which closed operations and laid off eight employees in June.

Mumbai-based GrocShop closed its business in May.

Among larger players, Grofers closed operations in nine cities in January and revoked campus job offers in June. In April, the Sequoia Capital backed-PepperTap closed operations.

Ola shut down its hyperlocal delivery app Ola Store while Flipkart's Nearby closed operations in February.

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