Indian Internet-based companies’ sudden obsession with online grocery stores shows no sign of letting up: Local search listing platform AskMe* has acquired online grocery marketplace Bestatlowest.com for and undisclosed amount, reports Livemint. Following the acquisition, Bestatlowest is expected to be merged with AskMe.
Bestatlowest’s co-founders Ankit Jain and Amit Nigam, as well as the company’s 25 member team, are also expected to become a part of AskMe. Apparently, Bestatlowest.com will be merged into a new site called AskMeGroceries.com, which will be launched later this year.
At the time of writing this article, the Bestatlowest.com site is still accessible, however currently they aren’t accepting orders for groceries and non-FMCG products like mobiles & tablets, mobile accessories, and beauty & personal care among others. The website informs that the store is being updated and will resume services on May 22, 2015.
Prior to the acquisition, Bestatlowest was operational in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (Agra, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Lucknow and Noida) and Haryana (Faridabad, Gurgaon and Rohtak). Bestatlowest has tie-ups with retailers and supermarkets to acquire groceries and other products, which it then delivers to consumers within 4-6 hours in Delhi-NCR.
Online grocery segment in India
– Godrej Group’s premium food products retailer Nature’s Basket had acquired Mumbai-based online grocery store Ekstop.com, in February this year, and later integrated it into Nature’s Basket’s online store.
– In April, hyperlocal online grocery retailer Grofers acquired mobile grocery startup My Green Box. Similar to the AskMe acquisition, My Green Box’s 15 member team joined Grofers and MyGreen Box founder Varun Khurana was expected to act as the CTO of Grofers.
– Last year in November, Reliance Industries’ retail arm Reliance Retail had launched an e-commerce store called RelianceFreshDirect.com to delivery grocery products in some neighborhoods of Mumbai. The platform sells vegetables, fruits, groceries, dairy products, confectionery products, packaged food and personal care products to the residents of Navi Mumbai, South Mumbai and parts of Thane, similar to Ekstop.
– Other players in this space include FreshWorld, LocalBanya, Amazon India’s KiranaNow, PepperTap, Delyver.com, BigBasket and SRSGrocery.com among others.
AskMe Malaysia launch: Earlier this year, AskMe entered the Malaysian market by launching ‘Find It’, which was also expected to be integrated on WeChat. At the time of launch, Find It claimed to list over 3 million businesses in 700 categories covering over 450 cities in Malaysia. Categories of listings include restaurants, spa, taxi services, travel, matrimony, jobs, education, mobile, gadgets, etc. The service is available for free on the web and on Android, however the iOS app was yet to be launched.
In January last year, AskMe had partnered WeChat to provide location-specific local searches, deals and classifieds through an official account ‘AskMeSearch’ on WeChat in India. The company had said it would also provide information on trending restaurants and deals of the day, apart from providing classifieds on vehicles, mobiles, properties and jobs, thereby allowing its SME and merchant customer base to reach out to their audience on the messaging platform. The current partnership will probably offer something similar.
*Disclaimer: AskMe is an advertiser with MediaNama.