Hyperlocal e-commerce services, which deliver products to customers within hours, are a hot sector in India right now. Zopper, which focuses on large products like home appliances, is the latest to score a significant round of funding. Its $20 million Series B round from Tiger Global and Nirvana Venture Advisors.
Zopper, which was founded in 2011 and currently operates in seven cities, plans to grow that number to 30 by the end of this year. The New Delhi-based company claims that its app has been downloaded a million times and has about 500,000 monthly active users.
A roster of hyperlocal startups have snagged funding recently. Many, like PepperTap and Grofers, focus on fresh groceries. India’s biggest e-commerce players, including Paytm, Snapdeal, and Flipkart, are also rolling out on-demand delivery.
Co-founder Neeraj Jain says Zopper sets itself apart by focusing on large electronics, home appliances, furniture, and vehicles.
Instead of operating its own warehouses and logistics network, Zopper partners with local retailers and helps them find customers and manage orders. Customers benefit because they can enjoy the ease of online shopping and rapid delivery, but still rely on nearby stores for assembly and product support.
“Logistics is a big problem in these categories, so you see a strong need,” says Jain. “Anything of a bulky nature is very difficult to move online.”
He adds that the difficulty of entering these verticals will help protect Zopper from competition as it expands into cities while at the same time attracting small stores that want to take part in India’s e-commerce boom.