The online grocery delivery service provider backed by Softbank has advanced its plan to launch an initial public offer (IPO) by the end of next year after its profitability path zoomed during the lockdown period, a top official of the company told PTI.
Grofers co-founder and CEO Albinder Dhindsa told PTI that the company started making an operational profit in January and expects to become cash positive by the end of this year.
"Our path to profitability has accelerated during the lockdown, and after achieving operational profitability in January, we are on track to become EBITDA and cash positive by the end of this year. We are observing market sentiments and aim to hit the capital market by the end of 2021," Dhindsa said.
Earlier the company had plans to go public in 2022, however, it benefited from the coronavirus induced lockdown and subsequent movement restrictions as consumers switched to home delivery services. Grofers closed the financial year with a revenue of around Rs 2,500 crore and its valuation is estimated to be close to Rs 6,000 crore.
"As an organisation, we have always channelled our efforts towards providing value to our customers. And, we will continue to do so by staying true to our brand promise of low prices through our focus on building an efficient supply chain and technology-driven innovations," Dhindsa said.
Grofers shipped 4.4 crore items last month, with 99.7 percent accuracy and since the lockdown began. It claims to have served 42 lakh households by the end of May.
"Our platform continues to witness high demand and we expect this to stabilize at 30% higher than pre-COVID levels. There has also been a 40% increase in basket size as compared to the pre-COVID era. We are seeing 64% first-time online grocery shoppers and 15% first time online shoppers," Dhindsa said.
During the lockdown, Grofers opened three new facilities and two more are in the pipeline at Bhiwadi and Lucknow. "We are looking to add 10-15 facilities before the end of this year. We are helping our manufacturing partners with logistics, working capital, and distribution so that we can maintain constant supplies of goods for our customers. We started reverse picks on our own trucks and procured goods from the warehouses of our FMCG partners," Dhindsa told PTI.
Currently, Grofers has 10,000 partner stores to run a fast and lean supply chain from manufacturers straight to consumers. It has hired over 3,000 people for supply chain operations in the last two months, and plan to hire another 2,000 warehouses and delivery staff in the coming months.