PepperTap, the Gurgaon-based hyperlocal grocery service, has raised $4 million from Innoven Capital. Along with this, it has also acquired Jiffstore, a Bangalore based hyperlocal grocery delivery service for an undisclosed amount. Jiffstore’s team will work out of PepperTap’s Bangalore and Gurgaon offices. The acquisition gives PepperTap Jiffstore’s customer base and its technology.
In June, Jiffstore had raised funding from existing investors Unitus Seed Fund and Times Internet*, to expand the company’s network of stores, marketing, expanding the team, and improving the technology platform. At that time, the company was also expected to expand to Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi, although no specific timeline had been mentioned.
Interestingly, the company had patented Jiffbot, a personal shopping assistant. Jiffstore had partnered with 120 stores to deliver grocery items in 90 minutes and was founded by Shameel Abdulla, Satish Basavaraj, Aswin Ramachandran, and Sandeep Sreenath.
Series B funding closed: PepperTap has also announced the closing of its $36 million Series B funding from Snapdeal and new and existing investors, which took place in September this year. At that time, PepperTap said that it was in ‘advanced talks’ to raise $20 million and expected it to close in the same month, but seems to have raised $4 million from Innoven instead. The company has raised $51.2 million so far.
Marketing tie ups: PepperTap has also entered into marketing tie ups with other startups like Zoomcar, Faasos, Local Oye, Stylofie and Inner Chef for cross marketing activities. It has also tied up with FMCG companies which have launched their product sampling campaigns and new products through the app. Participating companies include Lipton Ice Tea, Tata Grand Coffee, Sprite Zero etc.
Vendor app: In its press statement, the company said that the yet to be launched PepperTap Partners app will have two versions: one for organised retail chains and another for individual vendors, where merchants can see their performance and allow them to manage stocks and inventory better. The app will get insight into the top 100 best selling products for vendors, an out of stock item will be removed from the app and on availability, can add the product again, which will reflect in half an hour. Interestingly, if the MRP derivation is more than 5-10%, an alarm will be sent to PepperTap, who will then look into it. Retail chain vendors will be able to see sales, progress and store specific information and the company plans to integrate contact through a WhatsApp integration.
Live chat and virtual currency: Earlier this month, the company launched a live chat feature where users could interact with support staff to ask about pricing, delivery time, quality of products, availability of brands or products etc. At the same time, it also launched PepperCash, a virtual in-app currency where users could get instant refunds for returned items.
*Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama