Community group buying is revolutionising the grocery e-commerce space in China. Disruptive brands like Furong Xingsheng and Nice Tuan are garnering major traction by cracking the long-standing conundrum around e-commerce for fresh produce and have raised multi-millions in funding from marquee investors like Tencent, Alibaba, and more.
Closer home, in India, Otipy, one of the country’s largest social commerce platforms for fresh produce, is implementing this very model to transform fresh grocery delivery in the country. Otipy is in talks with investors to raise $10M.
Otipy is a B2B2C social commerce platform for fresh produce in India and works closely with reseller partners,primarily women and neighborhood stores. It focuses on-demand harvesting as per predicted demand to keep minimum wastage through state-of-the-art technology used for procurement, distribution and delivery.
The fresh grocery category in India stands at $200 billion, of which less than 1% accounted for online grocery so far. Finally, in March 2020, Otipy emerged with the most innovative and enabling business model where the unit economics work at scale and the produce is sourced and delivered fresh, every single day. Otipy connects consumers with farmers through resellers (women and small neighborhood stores) who sell fruits and vegetables to their communities through Whatsapp groups.
Varun Khurana, Founder, Otipy said,“No one in India has been able to crack the model for fresh produce. We have a history and deep understanding of fresh that we have leveraged to build a social commerce model that creates earning opportunities for women and stores, helps farmers, and provides fresher, more nutritious produce to consumers at a lesser price. In the last 8-9 months, we have built a robust platform in the fresh produce category supporting 2500+ women and stores as resellers and are witnessing a phenomenal response from customers in Delhi NCR. We now plan to further expand this market in other cities as well.”
These community leaders/resellers earn a commission of up to 10% for all group sales – the highest across all social commerce brands in India. While on average resellers make INR 2,500 – 3,000, the platform’s top 20% resellers make more than Rs 15,000 per month which, again, is higher than any other reseller network. With 2500+ women and stores as resellers across Delhi-NCR, Otipy is already catering to 5000+ daily orders from 1 lac+ consumers. And these numbers are growing at a rapid pace. To empower more resellers and further build its business across India, Otipy is in active discussions to raise a $10M+ fundraise in 2021. Otipy also plans to extend its platform to other categories and has already launched specific dairy, grocery products on the platform.
Since community leaders are responsible for creating their own customer groups, Otipy’s customer acquisition cost is very low (1/10Th of category cost) while conversion rates are much higher than other business models. Similarly, last-mile deliveries have become more cost-efficient than ever before with community leaders being conveniently located close to the end consumers. Moreover, at 30-35%, Otipy’s gross margins are highest across all models, benefitting every stakeholder in its supply chain including the consumer, community leader, and the produce platform itself.
India’s investments in the agritech sector are likely to exceed $500 million in the next two years. Otipy, too, has seen a rather continuous interest from investors. It has already raised $2M in 2020 from Inflection Point (IP) Ventures and the Smile Group.