How Dunzo Grew 40X in COVID Pandemic? Complete Case Study

Dunzo Success Story: From WhatsApp Groups to Almost Unicorn

By Anindita Paul Apr 28 2021 4:05PM 3113 Read
Dunzo Success Story: From WhatsApp Groups to Almost Unicorn

In the last few years, home delivery services have become popular, and not just that, for a lot of us, they have become an integral part of our lives. Figuratively speaking, this is both the best and the worst time for delivery startups to start a brand new business venture. But Dunzo's success story beats the odds and manages to come on top of this growth curve.

When we look at the 'delivery' market, there are all possible options for everything. At any given time, brands are evolving to hone those options even further. When we are using the internet in our day-to-day lives, we are bombarded with countless ads of delivery services like Swiggy, Zomato, BigBasket, Pickingo, PepperTap, Opinio, TinyOwl, Foodpanda, etc. These days the competition is tough for hyperlocal delivery services. Faster, cheaper, more efficient, easier to access, delivery insurances, exclusive discounts, etc., with many such improvements and offers, delivery services constantly compete for customers' attention. So, in this maelstrom of options, where does Dunzo fit in?

Let's Take a Look at The Dunzo Success Story to Find Out: The Founder and his Whatsapp Group:

The Dunzo success story started taking root in Gurgaon. Kabeer Biswas worked in Gurgaon when he realized how much he struggled with finishing up his chores and errands despite having all kinds of technological aids.

Before he started on Dunzo, Biswas created another successful startup called Hoppr, with co-founder Mohammad Imthiaz. In 2014, Hoppr got acquired by Hike, and eventually, both Biswas and Imthiaz left the company to go on their way. From his experience with Hoppr, Biswas remarks that he learned the value of the time one spent building a startup, even more than the capital invested in it.

He moved to Bangalore after leaving Hoppr, and in the back of his mind, the desire to make chores, errands, and the urban life, in general, more accessible, was still churning. According to Biswas, Dunzo started to sort his schedule, and soon he realized that others probably felt the same burden of chores and tight schedules.

He started messaging his friends on WhatsApp to 'forward' any chores to him, and he would get them done. And soon the word spread,

"Soon, my WhatsApp was flooded with requests from friends, friends of friends, and a bunch of strangers who needed stuff done around town." ~Biswas

Around this time, he met the rest of the co-founders, Dalvir Suri, Mukund Jha, and Ankur Aggarwal. The business continued to grow, and the boom in requests was something they couldn't keep up with within their current scale. In their endeavor to expand, they were rejected by many venture capitalists. Still, luckily they caught the attention of the global tech giant Google, and Google decided to give them a chance. They were one of the first investments made by Google in the Indian startup market.

Timeline of the Dunzo Success Story:
  • It was founded in July 2014 in Bengaluru by Kabeer Biswas.
  • In March 2016, Rajan Anandan, MD of Google India, invested in Dunzo's first round of funding. With Contributions from Blume Ventures, Aspada, and Sandipan Chattopadhyay as well, Dunzo managed to raise a total of US$650,000 that year.
  • In February 2016, the company finally migrated from WhatsApp to its app.
  • In December 2017, Dunzo received a fresh round of funding from Google, which totaled US$12 million.
  • In August 2019, Dunzo raised INR 34.56 Cr funding by an existing investor Alteria Capital.
  • In May 2020, Dunzo partnered with PepsiCo to deliver snacks by brands owned by PepsiCo, such as Lays and Kurkure. This partnership was mainly centered in Bengaluru during the lockdown and was undertaken due to PepsiCo's 'Direct-to-Customer' initiative.
  • In May 2020, Dunzo also partnered up with GooglePay to provide "grocery and medicine delivery, bike pool, pickup-and-drop, among other services."
  • In 2021, Dunzo grew to work with 11,000 merchants, when in 2019, they reached only 600 merchants.
Dunzo During the Pandemic:

As we can see from above, like most hyperlocal delivery services, Dunzo hasn't taken that strong hit during the pandemic. The lockdowns and work from home mandates have contributed to creating more business opportunities for the brand. In other words, the pandemic has played a crucial role in the Dunzo success story.

When asked about how Dunzo was dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, in an interview with NDTV's Gadgets 360, he said that the first and foremost priority had been to ensure everyone's safety. He assured that "safety gear, precautionary checks, and a new insurance policy that specifically covers them for coronavirus-related expenses" were some measures that they adopted early on.

He also announced that Dunzo had seen significant growth in the year 2020, and the orders for perishable goods and grocery items have increased around three times their previous amounts.

Final Words:

Dunzo is still at a stage where it is rapidly developing. And when the optimum success is still in the distance, but the potential is in the 'happening' stage, that's when the business moves and developments are the most interesting to observe. So, business insiders and the public alike are excited to see where Dunzo is going and what else the Dunzo success story has in store for us.

Anindita Paul
Anindita Paul View More Posts

I’m an avid reader and a wobbly but driven writer, who hopes to make her mark in the world of writing one article at a time. I am passionate about creative writing and storytelling, for me this is where my love for art meets my love for language. I am pursuing my masters in English literature, a course that has equipped me to question, comment and analyse the world from diverse points of views, and writing is how I plan to not let these skills go to waste. In my free time I can be found neck deep in meme culture foraging for my next pop-culture obsession.

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