Dunzo - The Trendsetting Journey of the Product Delivery Startup in India

Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee Manisha Mishra Manisha Mishra
Jul 11, 2023 14 min read
Dunzo - The Trendsetting Journey of the Product Delivery Startup in India

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We yearn to enjoy hassle-free lives and smartphones have a major role to play in achieving this dream. Mobile apps have given us the kind of freedom and the opportunity to leverage the same, which was hard to imagine even a decade back. Product delivery is one such thing that has been streamlined with the radical innovations in mobile apps. However, pick-and-drop services in India were rather expensive, chaotic, and troublesome, dominated by unorganized players until Dunzo came up with its promising delivery services at nominal charges.

Founded in 2015, Dunzo has been a blessing for many out there when it comes to delivery-related tasks.

The kind of features Dunzo offers will indeed make you slouch on your couch. With thousands of positive reviews and admiration from investors, Dunzo is in the process of creating an impact.

Read on to find out more about Dunzo's Startup Story, Founders and Team, Business Model, Revenue Model, Funding and Investors, Growth, Logo, Tagline, Competitors, Challenges, and more.

Done Company Highlights

Dunzo - About and how Dunzo works
Dunzo - Founders/Owners and Team
Dunzo - Startup Story
Dunzo - Mission and Vision
Dunzo - Name, Tagline, and Logo
Dunzo - Business Model and Revenue Model
Dunzo - Growth and Revenue
Dunzo - Funding and Investors
Dunzo - Partnerships
Dunzo - Awards
Dunzo - Startup Challenges
Dunzo - LayOffs
Dunzo - Competitors
Dunzo - Future Plans


Dunzo - About and how Dunzo works

Dunzo is a hyper-local on-demand delivery service in India. It delivers anything and everything as and when needed with minimum delivery charges. For instance, if you forget some documents at home, Dunzo can get them to your office. Besides, if you are in a situation where you would like to buy a t-shirt from a mall but are not in a position to go there and purchase it, Dunzo will get it for you.

Dunzo also has tie-ups with some restaurants, clothing stores, and a few general stores as well. It is currently providing services in the following cities – Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurugram, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai, Jaipur, Noida and Hyderabad. Dunzo is helpful for people who do not want to go out, cannot go out for some reason, and want to buy or send over some product/item.

Dunzo Digital Private Limited is the parent company of the hyper-local demand delivery service startup Dunzo. It was incorporated on July 8th, 2014, and is registered at the Registrar of Companies, Bangalore.

Dunzo - Founders/Owners and Team

Kabeer Biswas, Ankur Agarwal, Dalvir Suri, and Mukund Jha are the founders of Dunzo.

Kabeer Biswas

Kabeer Biswas ideated Dunzo. At the age of 28, he decided to save people's time and initiated the plans for Dunzo. He is an engineer who graduated from Mumbai University and completed his Master's at the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management in Mumbai. In 2007, he started working with Airtel as a product and sales manager. Kabeer subsequently served in the New Product Development and the Product divisions of Y2CF Digital Media and Videocon Telecommunications respectively before founding Dunzo. Kabeer is currently appointed as the CEO of Dunzo.

Dunzo owner
Co-Founders of Dunzo

Ankur Agarwal

Ankur Agarwal, a computer science graduate from IIT Roorkee, is the co-founder of Dunzo. Ankur worked with the third co-founder Mukund Jha at Google and the duo also started an HR tech company named 'Filter'.

Mukund Jha

Mukund Jha is the Co-founder and CTO of Dunzo. After completing his BTech., Computer Science from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Jha pursued his Master's in Computer Science from Columbia University, where he also served as a research assistant before moving on to join Google as a software engineer. He served as a software engineer for a little less than 3 years before founding Wisdom.ly and Habet, which he founded in 2013 and 2014. Dunzo was the third company that he co-founded with Ankur, Kabeer, and Dalvir in 2015.

Dalvir Suri

Dalvir Suri was another co-founder of Dunzo and is a BE in Information Technology graduate from the Sardar Patel Institute of Technology at Mumbai University. Dalvir had previously worked at IBM as an application developer and a security and privacy consultant. Next, he went on to be the Head of Operations and Delivery at Cybrilla Technologies before co-founding Dunzo in May 2015.

Dalvir Suri left the company on October 2, 2023, amid financial strain and layoffs, according to numerous sources familiar with the development.

Dunzo - Startup Story

Kabeer Biswas got bored in six months after shifting to Bengaluru. He decided to test a new business idea based on a self-completing, to-do-list product. This was the core idea behind Dunzo. His small room in a duplex became the headquarters of Dunzo. He then started spreading the word about the concept to his friends, which began to spread fast. Kabeer soon started running errands for people on bikes and completed deliveries all by himself. People dropped a message on his WhatsApp number and he ensured their task was done.

To help him in this initiative, he hired a few people from an NGO on a part-time basis. This team completed 70 deliveries in just one day in June 2015. This gave Dunzo a popularity boost and in the next three months, the startup received its first major investment. Due to the surge in demand, the WhatsApp-based business and service were transformed into an app in 2016. Other co-founders stepped in and made the Dunzo app a huge success.

Dunzo- Startups in India | Startup Story

Dunzo - Mission and Vision

Dunzo's mission is "to be the logistics layer of every city." The vision of the company is to expand all across the country and emerge as the go-to delivery service provider of each of the cities.

Dunzo is a slang abbreviation that refers to 'do, over, and finished'. The company kept the name Dunzo to finish the work that people had pending or wanted to delegate. The idea behind the logo and the brand is to be quick, reliable, and bold. Dunzo is about being constantly on the move.

"Just Dunzo it!" says the Dunzo tagline.

Dunzo Logo
Dunzo Logo

Dunzo - Business Model and Revenue Model

Dunzo functions through an app and a website. It provides on-demand concierge services in the hyper-local market. Dunzo offers many features under one roof, i.e., its app suffices for all possible needs. Home groceries, food, medicines, pet supplies, health and wellness, gifts, bike rides, pick and drop, laundry delivery, and various other categories/services are provided by Dunzo.

Dunzo works through a data-driven platform that connects a delivery person to the nearest user. The activity of this person can be tracked throughout the delivery. When there are any purchases to be made, the users can even use the chatbox, send relevant images of the specific product, and communicate accordingly. Dunzo also provides Dunzo cash and other digital payment options. Dunzo uses Artificial Intelligence with its platform to give users a satisfactory and smooth experience.

Dunzo - Growth and Revenue

Initially starting in 2015 on Whatsapp, when the users typed their needs and Dunzo used to deliver the same promptly, to now, when Dunzo is hailed as an all-in-one 24X7 delivery ecosystem to significantly deliver anything and everything within the city, the growth is right in front of us. Furthermore, it is important to note that Dunzo has its headquarters in Bengaluru and is now serviceable in 8+ cities in India, which entered Chennai in 2018 after starting its operations in Hyderabad in the same year.

Dunzo Daily

The company has last launched its new dark store named Dunzo Daily, which started in Bengaluru and claims to be designed as a grocery delivery service. As per the recent updates, Dunzo Daily has also been launched in Pune in February 2022 and will have its stores set up in over 10 Indian cities during the first half of 2022. Dunzo Daily has entered Mumbai, as per reports dated April 7, 2022, Dunzo's service will also operate in the satellite towns of Navi Mumbai and Thane. This makes Dunzo Daily operable in 4 cities - Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and, Pune, and is aiming to be launched in Hyderabad and Delhi NCR later in April 2022.

The fresh fruits and vegetable delivery service arm of Dunzo is now aiming to have 200 mini-warehouses, have 30,000+ delivery partners, and have set a target of completing 2 lakh orders daily by June 2022.  

The word "Dunzo" has grown from just the name of a startup to a verb in the real world, where people prefer to just dunzo things.  

Here's a glance at the growth highlights of Dunzo:

  • The company is spread across 9 of India's Cities
  • Dunzo is backed by none other than Google and Reliance Retail
  • The company also has a bike taxi service in Gurugram
  • Dunzo boasts of a whopping 40X growth in the last 2 years, as reported in March 2021
  • Google-backed Dunzo scaled its revenue by 1.6X in FY21 and has prominently reduced its expenses by 43%
  • Dunzo fulfilled 1 million orders monthly.
  • It has acquired 30,000+ merchants.
  • The company has 40,000 delivery partners

Dunzo Digital as part of the Drone Vaccine Delivery Initiative in Telangana

Dunzo Digital has currently been called upon along with Skye Air, a part of the Dunzo MedAir consortium for the Government of Telangana’s ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project to enable faster and more efficient healthcare logistics. Soon after, permission was granted to the Telangana government to use drones within the visual line of sight (VLOS) for the experimental delivery of COVID-19 vaccines from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) for one year, the state government tied up with Dunzo Digital.

The trials of the delivery of the vaccines are scheduled to begin on September 20, 2021, and will start from Vikarabad, Telangana, as per the reports dated September 18, 2021. They are expected to continue till September 25, 2021. The Dunzo Digital and Skye Air duo will demonstrate numerous healthcare logistics-related use cases as part of the trials.

Financials

Dunzo Financials
Dunzo Financials
Dunzo Financials FY23 FY22
Operating Revenue Rs 226 crore Rs 54 crore
Total Expenses Rs 2,054 crore Rs 532 crore
Profit/Loss Loss of Rs 1,801 crore Loss of Rs 464 crore

Expenses Breakdown

The company's total expenses in FY22 were Rs 532 crore , and in FY23 it is Rs 2,054 crore.

EBITDA

The company's EBITDA margin declined from -643% to -677% during FY22 and FY23, a symptom of considerable operating losses. Due to rising costs, the expenses per unit of operational revenue went from Rs 9.85 to Rs 9.09.

FY22- FY23 FY22 FY23
EBITDA Margin -643% -677%
Expenses/Rs of operation revenue Rs 9.85 Rs 9.09
ROCE -32% -

Dunzo - Funding and Investors

Dunzo has raised a total funding of $476 Million in over 19 rounds of funding. Dunzo raised $75 million from a funding round led by Google on April 6, 2023.  

Reliance Retail is the major shareholder in Dunzo with a 25.8% stake. Google, in contrast, owns a somewhat lower ownership interest of under 20%. In an effort to take advantage of the changing e-commerce and delivery trends in the market, Reliance Retail and Google have made this strategic investment, demonstrating their interest in the quickly expanding hyperlocal delivery market.

Dunzo funding details are as follows:

Date Amount Investors Series
November 2016 $1.18 Million Aspada Investment Series A
December 2017 $12.3 Million Google, Blume Ventures, Aspada Investment Series B
November 2018 $1 Million Alteria Capital Debt
February 2019 $3.1 Million Blume Ventures, Lakshmi Narayanan, Raintree Family Office, Monika Garware Modi Series C
February 2019 $0.4 Million - Series C
April 2019 $9.4 Million Google, Blume Ventures, Alteria Capital, Patni Wealth Advisors Corporate Round
May 2019 $0.6 Million Kalpavriksh Fund Venture Round
June 2019 $0.4 Million Belltower Fund Group Ltd Series C
August 2019 $2.8 Million Alteria Capital Debt
October 2019 $45 Million Lightbox Ventures, 3L Capital, STIC Investment, STIC Ventures and Google Series D
February 2020 $11 Million Alteria Capital Debt
September 2020 $28 Million Google, Lightstone Fund Series E
January 2021 $40 Million Google, Lightbox, Evolvence, Hana Financial Investment, LGT Lightstone Aspada, and Alteria Series E
January 6, 2022 $240 Million Reliance Retail, Lightbox, Lightrock, Alteria Capital Venture Round
November 30, 2022 $6.2 Million BlackSoil Debt Financing
April 6, 2023 $75 Million Google Convertible Note

Dunzo - Partnerships

Dunzo have some prominent partners:

Pepsico

Dunzo partnered with PepsiCo. With this partnership that was announced on May 26, 2020, Dunzo now delivers four different food products produced by the PepsiCo subsidiary brand Frito-Lay, which are Lay's, Kurkure, Doritos, and Quaker.

Leadsquared

Dunzo next partnered with LeadSquared to bring greater efficiency in its process of onboarding new retailers on the platform. Besides, this partnership that materialized on June 23, 2020, will also be empowering them with a wider reach and local delivery services. It also partnered with Zee5 and Alt Balaji in September 2021 to push Dunzo Daily.

Alliance Insurance Brokers

Dunzo partnered with alliance insurance brokers in February 2023 to give its nationwide network of delivery partners insurance coverage.

Shield

The company partnered with Shield in April 2023 to enhance its ability to prevent fraud activities in real-time.

Parinaam Foundation

Dunzo partnered with the Parinaam Foundation in May 2023, and with this partnership, they aim to support the financial literacy of women delivery partners and store executives.

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)

The seller division of Dunzo joined the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) in August 2023, and with this alliance, the company hopes to sign up over 20,000 merchants from a variety of industries.

One-Tap

Dunzo partnered with OneTap in September 2023 to pay employees' salaries for August, as the company had previously missed multiple deadlines and failed to pay staff members' August salaries.

Dunzo - Awards

  • Dunzo was listed in the LinkedIn Top Startups of the Year in 2021.
  • It has won the Digies Award for both consecutive years (2019 and 2020).
  • The company won the Mommy Awards in 2020 and 2021.

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Dunzo - Startup Challenges

Like every other startup, Dunzo also faced many hiccups and challenges. The major pain points for the company were an inefficient delivery system, the time taken by the runners to complete the deliveries, website and mobile application management, and major financial losses.

Dunzo Threatens Staff

Some of the Dunzo staff allegedly received messages from Dunzo on July 27, 2022, which threatened them with permanent suspensions if they were found guilty of supporting strikes.

The message that Dunzo staff have received allegedly on July 26, 2022, read, “It is to inform you that any ID found at the location of a strike will be permanently suspended. Please don’t be a part of a strike or support a strike either.”

Data Breach Issue

Dunzo suffered a data breach issue in July 2020, when the company said that the Dunzo website, which had the users' information, email addresses, and more, was hacked by the hackers. The exact amount of user data that was accessed was not known then but the payment information of the users was not been accessed by the hackers. The technical team at Dunzo updated the security pattern after that incident, which is now stronger. Dunzo had initiated an internal investigation into this case. The investigation eventually came up with the suggestion that the unauthorized access to the database could have followed a break in the servers of a third party. While speaking on this issue after the data breach, Dunzo CEO Mukund Jha published a post and said that his company has taken "swift action" to fix the security problems and has also, “added additional layers of security protocols” to fix the issue.

The company also claimed they have enhanced the old logging and tracing mechanism to monitor any such incidents, which will help the users receive an alert when there will be any doubtful activity in the future.

Jha said, “While our best teams are working on resolving and strengthening our security efforts, we're also engaged with leading cyber security firms and experts to further strengthen our efforts,”

The Case of Drugs

Both Dunzo and Rapido delivery agents were arrested in Bengaluru, as a part of the ongoing crackdown on narcotics, which included two men. Police busted two delivery agents who were found delivering huge amounts of drugs around the city. Police, however, said that the food delivery services at Twitter Pany "cannot be blamed" for their employees being involved in crime.

In one of their biggest hauls of marijuana and other synthetic drugs, the Bengaluru Police have seized 240 kgs of ganja (marijuana), MDMA tablets, MDMA crystals, weed oil, brown sugar, and much more. The seizure is part of Bengaluru Police's continuing crackdown on narcotics and its wide networks.

"This bust is not just one place but from across Bengaluru," Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant said.

According to the top police officials, marijuana is being sourced from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Further investigation is underway and the police are hopeful of making more arrests. The local police are heading the investigation but they are cooperating with other state police and central agencies.

Dunzo - LayOffs

On July 21, 2023, Dunzo fired 300 people, representing 30% of the workforce. The layoffs are being done because of cash flow problems. According to several media sources, the corporation has also postponed paying half of the employees' June salary due to a cash shortage, and the senior leadership would be most affected.

Dunzo, however, has let go of up to 400 people over the past nine months as a result of being compelled to downsize its consumer-facing business, Dunzo Daily, and shift its emphasis to the B2B vertical, Dunzo Merchant Services.

Dunzo fired 150–200 people in its third round of layoffs on September 27, 2023, to cut costs. According to many news reports, the pending payouts for June and July for the employees will be cleared in November.

Dunzo - Competitors

The prominent competitors of Dunzo are:

  • Swiggy Go
  • Bigbasket
  • Zomato
  • Jugnoo
  • Jhutpat
  • Meratask
  • Apart from Meratask in Delhi and Jugnoo in Chandigarh, it also has rivals emerging out of metro cities like Delhi, Pune, and Bengaluru. The logistics industry in India is huge and intense competition is inevitable.

Dunzo - Future Plans

Dunzo has garnered massive popularity in the cities it presently operates in. The company has made the lives of people easy and stress-free. Shortly, the company is aiming to strengthen product searches on its app by partnering with different merchants and vendors. The team at Dunzo wants to expand its coverage of physical retail stores on the mobile application. Dunzo is also in the process of expanding its outreach to different tier-two cities.

Dunzo Founder and CEO, Kabeer Biswas spoke at an event, where he mentioned the company's growth plans to deliver essentials to customers in just 15-20 minutes. He also revealed that in the next 24 months, Dunzo will be rolling out the daily category across the country to 20 cities, and digitizing the same for the company's TAM of 50 million customers.

Dunzo is planning for an IPO in 2-4 years as per various news reports of January 2022.  

Kabeer the Founder said " We were looking forward to a partnership that would allow us to be able to do that, and we have been able to agree and work very closely with the Reliance team towards this goal.”

The company is planning to raise a fund of $ 35 million in funding from existing investors like Reliance Industries and Google as well as new investors.

FAQs

What is Dunzo used for?

Dunzo is a hyper-local on-demand delivery service in India. It is a delivery company that delivers anything and everything on demand with minimum delivery charges.

How much does Dunzo cost?

Dunzo approximately charges INR 40 for 4 km, INR 80 for 8 km, and INR 120 for distances greater than 8 km.

What does Dunzo mean?

Dunzo is a slang abbreviation that refers to 'do, over, and finished'.

Who is the CEO of Dunzo?

Kabeer Biswas is the founder and CEO of Dunzo.

How long does Dunzo take to deliver?

The entire delivery cycle approximately takes 35-45 minutes.

Is Dunzo reliable?

Delivering an exceptional customer experience for its platform's users is Dunzo's main motto. Hundreds of positive reviews speak for Dunzo's reliability.

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