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Exclusive: On-demand hyperlocal marketplace GetNow pulls down shutters

closedNagpur-based hyperlocal marketplace for groceries, electronics, mobiles, computers, home and office supplies, GetNow.at, has closed its operations. The startup has also laid off eight employees in the process.

Shailesh Deshpande, co-founder, GetNow.at confirmed the development to Techcircle. He said the company is thinking about a pivot and is also open to the option of a possible acquisition. It may look at a business-to-business (B2B) play, he added.

“The consumer facing front of this business has poor unit economics. When we started, our average ticket size was Rs 250 but the delivery cost was Rs 50-55 and it was difficult to break even,” said Deshpande. “In November 2015, we moved towards a subscription-based model. The unit economics improved but scalability was a big problem.”

GetNow, run by Retail Labs Pvt. Ltd, had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Atulya Mittal, nephew of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and founder of Avan Projects in June 2015.

GetNow was founded in November 2014 by Jayesh Bagde. It had tied up with 400 retailers and offered more than 45,000 products through its Android app and website. The startup was only operational in Nagpur. It had 18 employees on its rolls when it decided to pull the plug on its grocery delivery business.

The e-grocery business is plagued with wafer-thin margins, high logistics cost, exponential customer acquisitions costs and fueling competition. One of the biggest players in the segment, Peppertap, which raised funding from SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital and Snapdeal, recently decided to shut down operations.

In February 2016, e-commerce venture Flipkart had shut down its grocery delivery app Nearby, five months after it was launched in Bangalore. Soon after, cab-hailing firm Ola pulled the plug on its hyperlocal grocery delivery app, Ola Store.

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