PepperTap raises USD 36 mn from Snapdeal, others


New Delhi, Sep 29 (PTI) : E-commerce major Snapdeal today said it has picked up minority stake in hyper-local grocery delivery service, PepperTap, leading a USD 36 million funding round.

The funding will be used to expand PepperTap’s presence to 75 cities from the current 18 cities, customer and talent acquisition, PepperTap Co-Founder and CEO Navneet Singh told reporters here.

PepperTap, which is looking to raise up to USD 20 million more in 2-3 weeks, said the current round of funding saw participation from existing investors -– Sequoia India and SAIF Partners — as well as new investors like Ru-net, JAFCO, and BeeNext.

“We have worked with Navneet and his team that also runs a logistics firm (Nuvo Logistics). Grocery is about 59 per cent of retail GDP in India and we are excited to be entering into a strategic partnership with PepperTap to tap this market,” Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl said.

Snapdeal has been on an acquisition spree, beefing up its presence as it takes on players like Flipkart and Amazon in the burgeoning Indian e-commerce industry.

This year alone, Snapdeal has acquired payments and mobile recharge startup Freecharge in a cash-and-stock deal (estimated at USD 400-450 million), MartMobi, Letsgomo Labs and Reduce Data.

It has also picked up stakes in digital financial services platform RupeePower and logistics venture GoJavas.

Founded in 2010, Snapdeal has over 90 million registered users (Freecharge included) and over two lakh business sellers.

Snapdeal, which counts Japan’s SoftBank, Foxconn, Alibaba and eBay among its investors, has been scouting for acquisitions in mobile technology and supply chain space.

“We will work towards accelerating growth at PepperTap. Grocery is going to be a big driver for online retail in India and we want to play a leading role in building a conducive ecosystem for further growth of e-commerce in the country,” Bahl added.

PepperTap allows customers to choose from over 15,000 products across categories like daily use items, bath and hygiene products, fruits and vegetables, etc. It generates about 20,000 average transactions per day.

PepperTap raised seed round of US 1.2 million from Sequoia India in November 2014 and Series A of USD 10 million from SAIF Partners and Sequoia India.

“From less than USD 1 million GMV run rate at the start of fiscal 2015-16, we are solidly on track to end the year with a GMV run-rate of over USD 250 million.

“Using the investments, we are looking at expanding our footprint to 75 cities in the next six months. We will also double our head-count from the current 3,000 in the same time frame,” Singh said.