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Flipkart shuts down its grocery delivery service Nearby


E-commerce player Flipkart has shut down its grocery delivery service Nearby five months after its launch. This was first reported by Mint. The company had launched the service in October 2015 on a pilot basis and the company delivered to the Bangalore neighbourhoods of Koramangala, HSR Layout, BTM Layout, Ejipura, Jayanagar, JP Nagar, and Bellandur in Bangalore (basically the areas where every startup employee lives in).

A Flipkart spokesperson confirmed the development to MediaNama, The company said that the pilot ran its course and t was run to understand efficiencies and operations of the hyper local business. Flipkart’s staement:

‘Flipkart Nearby’ was a piloted in select areas of Bangalore. The experiment was a test for understanding efficiencies and operations of the hyper local business. The project has now run its course and the learnings from this pilot will now be used for future operations of the company.

Interestingly, earlier this month rival Amazon launched its delivery service via an app in Bangalore. Amazon seems to source the groceries from offline stores such as Big Bazaar, Nature’s Basket, Reliance Fresh and In and Out. Amazon started local grocery delivery in March 2015 through Kirana Now in Bangalore on a pilot basis. At the time, Amazon delivered orders via its own logistics unit Amazon Transportation Service Private Limited, delivery boys from kirana stores and third party vendors.

Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori quit company

Earlier this month, Myntra chairman Mukesh Bansal and chief business officer Ankit Nagori put their papers down. Mukesh Bansal will stay on in the company till the end of March while Nagori will stay on till three more months. Mukesh Bansal was supposed to continue in his roles as chairman of Myntra and head of the commerce division. At the time he was also given the added responsibility of Flipkart’s ads business. Binny Bansal will now oversee the commerce division and the ads business.

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Other businesses shut down by Flipkart

– In December 2015, Flipkart exited its ebooks business saying that the division is not a strategic fit for the company. Flipkart added that ebooks purchased on the platform will now be serviced by Canada’s Rakuten Kobo.

– In June 2013, Flipkart shut down its Flyte Music service.

– Flipkart began phasing out its own payments gateway Payzippy after the RBI did not grant a semi-closed wallet licence in 2013. Following which it picked up stake in mobile payments platform ngpay in December 2014 and wallet player FXMart in 2015.

Developments in the grocery space

The online grocery space has seen a lot of consolidation over the past few months despite investments in the companies.

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– Earlier this month, hyper-local grocery delivery service PepperTap shut down operations in six cities: Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, and Jaipur. It laid off about 400 delivery personnel. In December, the company raised $4 million from Innoven Capital, and acquired Bangalore-based hyper-local grocery delivery service Jiffstore. So far, it has raised $51.2 million in 4 rounds of funding from at least 8 investors.

– In January, Grofers shut down its services in 9 cities citing low acceptance. The company had expanded to these Tier II cities, including Ludhiana, Bhopal, Kochi, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam in September 2015. Grofers will now operate in 17 cities.

– In November 2015, Indian Grahak, the Kolkata based online supermarket, acquiredonline hyper-local marketplace Dyscover in a cash and stock deal.

– In September 2015, Delhi-based AUTOnCAB, a cab and auto booking service, acquiredthe Gurgaon-based online grocery delivery startup BigZop in a stock and cash deal.

– In August 2015, Bangalore-based online grocery store BigBasket raised $50 million in a round of funding. In June, it acquired the hyper local delivery startup Delyver in a cash and stock deal for an undisclosed amount.


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