In its first direct investment in an Indian startup, global search giant Google has picked up a minority stake in Bengaluru-based hyperlocal and delivery startup Dunzo. Google will lead a funding round of $12.3 million (around Rs 80 crore) alongside existing investors Blume Ventures and Aspada.
While Google Asia Pacific Pte Ltd invested Rs 64.58 crore, Blume Ventures put in Rs 3.75 crore and Aspada has infused Rs 12.5 crore into the startup, VC Circle reported.
Founded in 2015 by Ankur Aggarwal, Dalvir Suri, Mukund Jha and Kabeer Biswas, Dunzo is a chat-based app that allows users to create to-do lists through its app and runs errands such as picking up groceries or providing home services.
The platform leverages both artificial intelligence and human operators to provide solutions. It currently handles 3,500-4,000 tasks a day and looks to scale it up to one lakh tasks by the end of next year. It has employed 1350 riders across Bengaluru.
Also Read: Google Tez gets 12 million users in 4 months since launch, introduces bill payments feature
In March last year, the startup raised $650,000 (around Rs 4.4 crore) in a pre-Series A round of funding led by Aspada and Blume. Google India managing director Rajan Anandan and Just Dial’s chief technology officer Sandipan Chattopadhyay had also participated in the funding round.
It also secured $1.18 million in its Series A funding round in November 2016 from Aspada Investment Advisors, VCCircle reported.
For Google, the investment is part of its ongoing bid to strengthen its presence in India. Reports suggest that the search giant is in talks to acquire online local business search engine Just Dial.
The company entered India’s digital payments space in September this year with its UPI-based mobile payments app Tez. The app has seen a phenomenal increase in users which have reached 12 million now.
At its Google for India event today, the company introduced the bill payments feature for the app and promised to bring some major features for merchants in the coming year.