Who’s next?

Recently having raised $36 million in funding, PepperTap, the Gurgaon-based hyperlocal grocery service, has tied up with cloud telephony company Exotel to introduce number masking on its mobile app. This way, the user’s number will not be visible to delivery personnel, and be routed through Exotel’s server. The delivery personnel will see a ‘click to call’ option while dialling the customer’s number, which will be replaced with a call centre number. We’re not sure what number the user sees when the delivery personnel calls them. 

PepperTap follows in the footsteps of Ola and Uber: Late last month, Ola launched number masking where the user’s number would not be disclosed to drivers, while calls made by the drivers would be recorded and stored by Ola, across its operational cities in India. In the same week, rival Uber introduced a number masking feature in India, where neither the driver, nor the rider’s number would be displayed when making or receiving a call.

Number masking is a good thing when it comes to user privacy. Keeping the numbers of both parties hidden, companies will be able to offer a universal number which either side, the user or the delivery personnel, could call to connect with the respective person.

In February this year, Exotel acquired the voice-based media startup! for an undisclosed amount. According to the Bangalore based company, there was an overlap in the nature of the problems both the teams were solving and this acquisition would help it improve its services. It also that mentioned it plans to acquire more startups in the voice space.

PepperTap funding: Peppertap would use the funding from Snapdeal, Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Ru-net, JAFCO and BeeNext and make use of Snapdeal’s experience to develop its stores’ capabilities and grow sales. It would also be used for geographical expansion to 75 cities by the end of the current fiscal year, invest in technology and supply chain, hiring.

It has also added an ‘edit order’ option on the mobile app, while the order is in ‘order receipt’ stage. The company, which started operations in November last year, raised Series A funding worth $10 million from SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital in April. In February, it raised seed funding worth $1.2 million from Sequoia Capital, to build a team of over 100 employees across all verticals by the end of the year.

Founded in November 2014, by Milind Sharma and Navneet Singh, PepperTap partners with local grocery stores to take their inventory online. It allows users to buy grocery, fruits, vegetables, beauty and healthcare items, beverages, dairy products and kitchen utilities through its Android and iOS apps. It claims to have 15,000 products across categories, with operations in 17 cities in India and 2,500 employees. It also claims to generate about 20,000 transactions daily.

Image Credit: Flickr user Jeremy Brooks