Flipkart has launched a new grocery app called Flipkart Nearby for Android users. Livemint had first reported last week that Flipkart was testing the app in Bangalore. As of now, the company only delivers in Koramangala, HSR Layout, BTM Layout, Ejipura, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, and Bellandur in Bangalore.
Interestingly, the initiative claims it will deliver ordered items within a ‘matter of minutes’, going as far as to say that users in a gym can order a health drink, which will reach them before their workout is complete. Users living in the delivery area can order on any working day between 10am to 8pm. Note that Flipkart specifically mentions that it will offer free shipping only for a limited period of time.
For now users can buy groceries, branded food, beverages, chocolates, chips, bread, energy drinks etc., along with bathroom supplies like soap, creams, hand washes, toothbrushes, wellness products like pain relief sprays, sanitary pads, condoms and baby products like baby food, diapers, baby powders and oils etc. Users can add any items to their cart and make payments as they would on Flipkart.
Note that late last month, it was reported that Flipkart bought back its logistics business from WS Retail Services, relegating the retailer to only a seller. The acquisition was made through an entity called Instakart Services, which seems to be a new company incorporated as recently as June with the same address as Flipkart’s.
With this move, it’s possible that Flipkart is looking to grow its logistics business by employing it for local deliveries as well, while still keeping it independent of the main entity. In July, Instakart received Rs 127 crore in funding from Klick2shop Logistics, a company incorporated in February registered also under the same address as Flipkart Ltd, the group’s holding company, but in Singapore. It looks like the company really wants to keep its businesses separate and avoid the ire of India’s FDI regulations.
Other developments in online grocery delivery space:
– Last month, Gurgaon-based hyperlocal grocery service PepperTap, raised $36 million in series B funding led by Snapdeal and existing investors Sequoia India and SAID Partners, and with participation from new investors Ru-net, JAFCO and BeeNext.
– In March, Amazon launched an express delivery platform called KiranaNow in Bangalore. The company would partner with local kirana (grocery) stores to offer this service to deliver goods to users. The company had claimed then that it would only take 2-4 hours to make these deliveries.
– In July, Ola introduced a hyperlocal grocery delivery app for Android called the Ola Store. The app claimed to feature over 12,000 products in 13 categories, and is currently available in Bangalore.
– 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. 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.
– Other players in this space include FreshWorld, LocalBanya, Amazon India’s KiranaNow, PepperTap, Delyver.com, BigBasket and SRSGrocery.com among others.