The winter in startup ecosystem doesn’t seem to get over, where funding freeze continues to put many early stage startups under pressure causing many to shut shop or having a distressed sale of assets. 15 Months old Hyperlocal Grocery Aggregator, Zopeco has closed operations after not been able to raise the next round of funding. Nishant bhardwaj, CEO of Zopeco, has confirmed to MyVenture about the shutdown.
The startup which was founded by Nishant Bhardwaj, also the CEO in Jan 2015 was processing over 200 orders a day in Jharkhand alone with presence in Noida & Chandigarh as well.
Zopeco’s closure comes at a time, when vertical ecommerce players across the board are facing the heat of profitability and viability of unit economics from investors and stake holders alike. Last month Flipkart and Ola had also shut there Grocery deliveries due to low demand and focus on core business. Grofers had also closed operations in 9 & 6 non-performing cities, respectively, due to restructuring strategy. Peppertap has also confirmed that the company will shut down operations later this month.
Zopeco was one of the first companies in ecommerce to promote Online to Offline (O2O) channels, Vernacular content creation and had developed a proprietary algorithmic offline Sales Method. Zopeco was also part of the UK- Singapore JV accelerator program Esparks-Viridian.
The cofounders Nishant & Prabhat Kumar, were out in the market to raise fresh funds and possible acquisitions by larger players but the deal fell through owing to funds consolidations by the larger players.
They had 18 employee’s in logistics, Marketing and IT, on their roles, all of them have been laid off. Nishant has said that notices were already given to employees 15days in advance and were paid extra 15 days salary along with assistance in getting placed. The CEO said that almost all of them have already been placed in other logistics and retail companies in Ranchi and Noida and would start working from 1st week of May 2016.
Nishant says he is still very bullish about the ecommerce industry in India and says Online Grocery category itself would cross $10 Billion in India by 2020. We hope that the early stage startups start getting equal attention as the growth stage startups.