India gets its 1st unicorn of 2023 in Zepto which raises $200 mn

India gets its 1st unicorn of 2023 in Zepto which raises $200 mn

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New Delhi, August 25 (IANS) Ending the unicorn drought in India amid the ongoing funding winter, online grocery company Zepto on Friday announced it has raised $200 million in its Series E round, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.

The fundraise brought in new investors, with the StepStone Group leading the round.

US-based Goodwater Capital joined the round as a new investor. Existing investors like Nexus Venture Partners, Glade Brook Capital, Lachy Groom and more, doubled down in Zepto with meaningful follow-on investments.

Founded in July 2021, Zepto said it plans to go public in the next 2-3 years.

“This business is about execution and we are succeeding because our execution is strong. We are in this to build a generational company and it truly feels like this is just the beginning,” said Aadit Palicha, Co-founder and CEO of Zepto.

This fundraise in the middle of the deepest downturn in capital markets in over a decade validates Zepto’s operating discipline.

Zepto’s burn has reduced significantly and with this, the company will be fully EBITDA positive in 12 to 15 months.

The company has grown its sales by 300 per cent (year-on-year) and will likely achieve $1 billion in annualised sales within the next few quarters.

“Even with this capital, we want to maintain our discipline, avoid complacency, and push hard to hit EBITDA positivity,” said Kaivalya Vohra, Co-founder and CTO.

Headquartered in Mumbai, Zepto delivers more than 6,000 grocery products in 10 minutes through a network of delivery hubs across the country.

Meanwhile, India did not see any new unicorn in the first half of 2023 as startup funding plunged more than 70 per cent in the January-June period from a year ago.

The first six months witnessed Indian startups raise just $5.48 billion, from $19.5 billion they raised during the same period last year, according to data by market intelligence firm Tracxn.