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AskMe Grocery to expand to 80 cities by end of financial year

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The AskMe Group* has plans to expand its Askme Grocery business from its current 38 cities to 80 cities by this financial year. Likewise, it claims to make 20,000 deliveries every day as of now, and plans to grow that to 100,000 daily by year end. The company says that the average ticket size is Rs 1,700- 2,000, accounting for Rs 3.5-4 crore daily. As of now, it employs 1,000 people.

Earlier this month, AskMe Grocery launched AskMeFresh, a perishable grocery marketplace and AskMeMeds, an online health marketplace. These are expected to go live in 3 months. The company partners with local grocery chains to deliver to its users, without keeping the inventory.

A Business Standard report cites Ankit Jain, co-founder of AskMe Grocery as saying that the company’s delivery costs are very low. An AdAge India report from February states that in Delhi, the company has 24 hubs which are algorithmically selected depending on the user’s locations. Each hub ties up with 4-5 kirana stores. In May last year, AskMe acquired BestatLowest, co-founded by Jain and Amit Nigam in 2013, for $10 million. Prior to the acquisition, BestatLowest was operational in Delhi-NCR.

Shutdowns in online grocery delivery in India:
– Earlier this week, PepperTap shut down its grocery delivery operations across the country. It retained 50 of its 200 employees for its logistics business.
– Last month, Ola shut down its food and grocery delivery businesses Ola Cafe (launched in March 2015) and Ola Store.
– In February, Flipkart shut down its grocery delivery service Nearby five months after its launch.
– In January, Grofers shut down its services in 9 cities citing low acceptance. In November 2015, Grofers raised $120 million in funding.
– In November last year, LocalBanya suspended operations.

Developments in the online grocery segment:
– Earlier this month, VegFru raised an undisclosed amount of funding from software company Wingify.
– Last month, Bangalore-based online grocery store BigBasket raised $150 million in a round of funding led by Abraaj Group.
– In February, Amazon launched a grocery delivery service app in Bangalore.

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Recent AskMe developments:
– In December 2015, AskmePay launched a new program called AskmeFin which would provide financial services to its partner small and medium enterprises.
– In November last year, AskMe launched a video series on tips and tricks for Home Decor called The Quirk Action. The series was branded by MebelKart in which Askme invested $20 million for a majority stake in August 2015. In September 2015, MebelKart acquired the crowd bargaining platform 53central.

*Disclaimer: AskMe is an advertiser with MediaNama

Image Credit: Lars. P under CC BY 2.0

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