Snapdeal offers to deliver cash at home
Snapdeal, India's second-largest homegrown online retailer, on Thursday announced the launch of "Cash@Home" service which will allow users to order cash and have it delivered at their doorstep.
The company will use the cash that it receives through Cash on Delivery (CoD) to operate this facility, it said in a media statement.
"As the country transitions to a more digitally-enabled economy, we've launched a series of timely initiatives â€“ from wallet and card on delivery, to extending FreeCharge partnerships to smoothen this transition. The launch of the cash on demand service is intended to further help our consumers tide over any cash crunch that they might face in addressing their daily needs," said Rohit Bansal, co-founder, Snapdeal.
At the time of cash delivery, the customers will need to swipe their ATM card on the PoS machine, which Snapdeal's courier partners will carry for all such deliveries.
The company will charge a nominal amount of Rs 1 as convenience fee, which the users will need to pay through FreeCharge wallet or through a debit card at the time of booking the order.
For the service, a user can request Rs 2,000 per booking and any bank's ATM card can be used to pay for the cash. The company said the customers are not obligated to order anything else from Snapdeal to access the "Cash@Home" facility.
The company added that the service is currently active in Gurgaon and Bengaluru and will be extended to other major cities in the coming days.
Last month, The Economic Times reported that Future Group's Big Bazaar had tied up State Bank of India (SBI) to help consumers withdraw cash from mini-ATMs across 260 stores. Last week, Gurgaon-based hyper-local delivery startup Grofers partnered with YES BANK to deliver cash to customers across three cities - Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru.
Snapdeal, founded in 2010, has been trying to cut costs and focus more on profitability. In August, VCCircle reported that Snapdeal has initiated preliminary talks with staunch rivals Flipkart and Amazon to explore a possible merger.
Snapdeal has raised around $1.65 billion from about two dozen investors. These include SoftBank and SoftBank-backed Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, Taiwanese contract electronics maker Foxconn, global online marketplace eBay Inc., the ad-for-equity investment arm of Indian media firm Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, and venture capital investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Kalaari Capital.
SoftBank had led a $627 million round of investment in the company in late 2014 followed by another round of $500 million last year. Last month, Softbank pared down the value of its investment in the e-commerce platform as well as in cab-hailing company Ola.