Zepto becomes first Indian unicorn of 2023- Everything you need to know

The agency delivered their first campaign for Zepto

A mumbai based startup, Zepto has just made its name as the first Indian unicorn of 2023 after raising $200 million in its Series E funding round. The funding was led by StepStone Group, a US asset management firm, and included Goodwater Capital and some existing investors.

About Zepto

Zepto is an Indian quick-commerce startup that offers a 10-minute grocery delivery service. It was founded in July 2021 by Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra, two Stanford University dropouts. Zepto has more than 220 dark stores, or neighborhood warehouses, across seven Indian cities, including Mumbai, Bangalore, and New Delhi. The startup processes over 300,000 orders a day and has raised around $560 million to date.

Zepto’s success can be attributed to its focus on execution and discipline with which it governs every inch of its supply chain. The vast majority of Zepto’s dark stores are fully EBIDTA positive. In fact, Zepto has reduced its “burn” significantly.

Fundraise story

The timing of Zepto’s fundraise is significant given the slump in investments into growth- and late-stage startups on the one hand and the correction being witnessed in the quick commerce segment on the other.

Most of the capital from the previous round still sits in Zepto’s bank but the startup has raised more money to build its balance sheet ahead of going public in the first half of 2025, co-founder Aadit Palicha said. The startup aims to be IPO-ready with a company-wide EBIDTA positive metric in 12 to 15 months.

This funding comes at a time when most instant delivery startups globally have significantly curtailed their operations, have seen their private valuations plummet, or shut down entirely. Closer to home, Zepto-rival BlinkIt got sold for less money than it had raised after nearly a decade of operation. Reliance Retail-backed Dunzo has deferred payments to employees and cut workforce after aggressively spending over $150 million to expand its dark stores, a gamble that appears to have not worked at all.

Conclusion

Zepto’s latest funding round is significant for India’s startup ecosystem as it marks the end of an 11-month unicorn drought. It also highlights the importance of execution and discipline in supply chain management for startups operating in the quick-commerce segment.




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