The investment comes at a time when the broader startup ecosystem is navigating through a funding winter with startup funding having dipped to $3.8 billion in the first half of the year from $18.3 billion in the yearago period. Zepto’s recent funding round was also backed by new investor Goodwater Capital and a clutch of existing backers, including Nexus Venture Partners, Glade Brook Capital and Lachy Groom.
As the global economic downturn nudged investors to become selective in terms of investments, India’s pace of adding new unicorns slowed — the country added less than 25 unicorns in 2022 compared to over 40 in 2021. Zepto’s Palicha acknowledged that market conditions are tough. “We are sitting in the worst technology investing market probably since I was born (2001),” the co-founder and CEO said at a press briefing on Friday. Of late, big startups like Swiggy, Ola, Meesho and troubled firm Byju’s have faced valuation markdowns by their investors. Byju’s, which was valued at $22 billion at its peak, saw its valuation drop to $5.1 billion in the latest markdown by its investor Prosus.
Zepto, which competes with Swiggy Instamart, Blinkit and struggling peer Dunzo, had last raised $200 million at a valuation of $900 million in May last year.
Zepto plans to turn ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) positive in 12-15 months and said that it has a“pretty clear ambition” to go public in early 2025.The startup which, sources said, makes $50-60 million in sales per month doesn’t aim to expand aggressively.