Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries is looking to further consolidate its position in organized retail and its fledgling online commerce ventures.
In the latest development, Reliance Retail bought a 25.8% stake in Dunzo, India’s leading hyperlocal quick commerce player, for US$200 million. In this funding round, Dunzo was able to raise $240 million as its existing investors such as Lightbox, Lightrock, 3L Capital and Alteria Capital also pitched in.
Apart from picking up a stake, Reliance Retail is also looking for a business partnership. Dunzo is expected to enable hyperlocal logistics for Reliance’s retail stores and will also facilitate last-mile deliveries for Reliance’s online grocery platform JioMart.
Dunzo is a popular name among youngsters and has a presence in seven metro cities in India. With this latest capital infusion, this quick commerce player wants to reach 15 cities.
It connects merchants, partners and users to facilitate courier, e-commerce and merchant logistics. While traditional e-commerce deliveries take a day or longer, quick commerce – or q-commerce – enables customers to get small quantities in a shorter period of time.
It recently launched Dunzo Daily – a network of micro warehouses. It delivers daily and weekly essentials within 15-20 minutes.
Reliance Retail Director Isha Ambani said: “We are seeing a shift in consumption patterns to online and have been highly impressed with how Dunzo has disrupted the space. Dunzo is the pioneer of Quick Commerce in India and we want to support them in furthering their ambitions of becoming a prominent local commerce enabler in the country.”
She added that through the partnership with Dunzo, the company will be able to provide increased convenience to Reliance Retail’s consumers. “Our merchants will get access to the hyperlocal delivery network of Dunzo to support their growth as they move their business online through JioMart,” she said.
Reliance Retail has been on an aggressive acquisition spree to consolidate its position in the Indian market. In November last year, it acquired retail lingerie businesses under the Amante umbrella brand from MAS Brands, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka-based MAS Holdings, for an undisclosed amount.
In October, the retailer acquired a 52% stake in veteran couturier Ritu Kumar’s firm Ritika Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount. A month before, Reliance Retail acquired control of search and discovery platform Just Dial for 349.7 million rupees.