How Dunzo is adapting to new normal in quick commerce


Sowmya Ramasubramanian

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Sowmya Ramasubramanian

3 reads

Instant grocery appeared to be a breeze when investors poured capital into startups in 2020-21. Now, as the funding winter drags on, the likes of Bengaluru-based Dunzo are trying to find a more sustainable path to growth

January 19, 2023


Early last year, an investor who had weighed bets in quick commerce described the space as a “2021 model”. It was a reference to the funding boom, which created the impression that new-economy businesses like instant grocery were destined to succeed without major hiccups.

When easy money went off the table in 2022, quick commerce was among the first segments to suffer globally. Some buzzy rapid-delivery startups with a high cash burn and unsustainable plans scaled back or packed up.

The prominent players in India, where interest in the format is still high, toughed it out with capital they had already raised. (Some had conglomerates in their corner.) But as the tech winter drags on, the companies must make further adjustments. That may be a blessing in disguise, taking them a step nearer to financial prudence.

Dunzo, for instance, is effecting a raft of changes. It is ditching the path of growth at all costs and focusing on building a more viable business. This has involved shuttering several dark stores, hyperlocal warehouses that enable swift grocery deliveries, and painful layoffs.

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