Update: Harshvardhan Mandad, CEO & CoFounder, TinyOwl said, “Yes, we are in the process of closing our funding and will be able to share more details soon.”
Earlier today: Online food ordering app TinyOwl has raised ~$7.6 million (Rs 50 crore) in funding led by Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners, reports ET. It will likely use the money to optimise its resources, restructure business operations and align last mile delivery. The company declined to comment on the funding when we reached out.
The ET report cited Harshvardhan Mandad, co-founder of TinyOwl as saying that its realignment has cut its costs by 43%. Mandad added that the company is planning to move its order processing to a merchant app while keeping the call centre only for escalations and select restaurants. Its orders are 45% automated.
Layoffs to focus on product; funding and expansion plans
Last month, the company confirmed that it had laid off a number of employees from its Pune and Mumbai offices, stating that the move was strategic in order to increase efficiency, productivity and focus on its product.
In February, TinyOwl had raised Rs 100 crore in funding from Matrix Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. in February, and had 400 employees working with it at that time. It was planning to roll out operations in 50 cities in India by the end of the year. MediaNama had pointed out that if the company followed through with its expansion plans, it would be an uphill task with majority of the funding going into paying salaries and administrative costs. It had also raised $3 million in a series A round of funding from Nexus Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital last year.
Foodpanda was looking to acquire TinyOwl
In March, Rocket Internet, which backs Foodpanda, made a bid to acquire TinyOwl without success, citing a source as saying that the company did not want to lose control to Rocket Internet, as reported by Business Standard. At that time, TinyOwl covered 4,000 restaurants in Mumbai and was processing 2,000 orders daily at an average customer acquisition cost of Rs 100 and average ticket size of Rs 300-400 on the app. A Hindu report from August reported similarly on the development.
TinyOwl HomeMade launches in Bangalore
The company launched TinyOwl HomeMade in Bangalore offering lunch in the city in select areas. TinyOwl Homemade claimed to work with 150 chefs in Mumbai and 15 in Bangalore. In Mumbai, it claimed 500 orders per day with the average order value being Rs 250. Chefs are charged a commission of 15-30% of dish value, the company added.
Dishes feature, Citrus tie up
TinyOwl launched its Dishes feature in June and expanded to Chennai in July. Earlier this month, the company tied up with Citrus to offer a wallet service in the former’s app to make payments and get instant refunds. Mandad said that customers faced ‘major dissatisfaction’ over refund challenges across industries, prompting it to make this move. As of now, the platform claims to take around 3,000-5,000 orders everyday and cover 4,500 restaurants.