Reliance Industries Ltd’s retail arm has invested $200 million for a 25.8% stake in Indian online delivery platform Dunzo to get a foothold into the rapidly growing market of superfast dispatch of household goods.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries said on Thursday its retail arm led a $240 million funding round in Bengaluru-based Dunzo which offers lightning-fast delivery of groceries and medicines and even offers to pick up and drop off documents and other items.
Demand for services like Dunzo and SoftBank-backed Swiggy’s Genie has boomed during the pandemic when people were ordered to remain indoors and only delivery of essential items was allowed. This massive demand has also led players to intensify their battle in ensuring users are able to get their orders in 15 minutes or less.
Dunzo, which counts Alphabet Inc’s Google and Lightrock among its backers, will use the funds to expand to 15 cities from its current seven-city operation.
Last month, Grofers which offers online delivery, rebranded itself as Blinkit with a promise to speed up deliveries. The company makes 10-minute drop-offs to customers with the help of more than 100 partner stores or warehouses in eight cities.
Reliance has been ramping up its JioMart e-commerce arm in an effort to stave off competition from Amazon.com and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart in an e-retail market India forecasts will be worth $200 billion by 2026.
Last year, Reliance also offered mom–and–pop stores, known as ‘kiranas’, the option to order goods on JioMart Partner with deliveries promised within 24 hours, circumventing the usual route of going through salesmen representing consumer giants.