Grofers scraps app-only model, launches website

Grofers scraps app-only model, launches website


Tiger Global-backed grocery delivery firm Grofers India Pvt. Ltd has scrapped its app-only model and launched its desktop website. The move comes at a time when the Gurgaon-based startup is struggling with margins and unit economics.

"Launching Grofers website on desktop – Best offers, wide assortment and home delivery of your groceries. Extra 15 % cash-back on everything. Log on now," read a message the company sent to its customers on Thursday evening.

The company was founded by Saurabh Kumar and Albinder Dhindsa in 2013. It allows users to order products ranging from grocery to pet supplies and electronic products online.

Grofers raised $120 million (nearly Rs 780 crore) in funding led by Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp in November 2015. Existing investors Apoletto Managers, Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital also participated in this round of funding.

In August 2015, it raised $35 million (Rs 218 crore) from Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital.

A mail sent to Grofer's co-founder Albinder Dhindsa regarding the change in the strategy from an app-only model to desktop did not elicit any response till the time of the filing of this article.

In an interview with last year, Dhindsa said that company doesn't plan to ditch the app-only mode as it perfectly suites its use case.

"Yes, we are app-only. We don't even have web developers; so I don't think we can do anything about it," said Dhindsa when asked if the company plans to stay app-only in the future.

"We have never built a website. We have never had that intent. It's also about understanding what our use case is—our use case is actually so frequent and people want mobility in these use cases. We are not sitting down and doing the purchase once every two months—these are not big purchases, these are not purchases decisions but these are automatic purchases," he had said then.

Meanwhile, Grofers is not the only one to ditch an app-only strategy. Earlier this year, Flipkart-owned fashion etailer Myntra re-launched its desktop website on June 1, bringing an end to the Bengaluru-based firm's plans to be the first app-only fashion marketplace in the world.

Grofers, one of the most heavily funded grocery delivery startups, has been facing mounting challenges. Earlier this year, Grofers had to let go of some employees and revoked campus job offers as part of a restructuring of operations.

Grofers also shut down its operations in nine cities—Bhubaneswar, Ludhiana, Bhopal, Kochi, Mysore, Nashik, Rajkot, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam.

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