Madhav Kasturia, Founder & CEO, ZFW

ZFW, a Dark Store platform for D2C & F&B brands, on Monday announced that it has raised funds from a clutch of marquee startup founders & angels to extend its pre-seed funding to $415,000. 

New investors include founders of well-known brands like Epigamia (Rahul Jain & Uday Thakker), Renee Cosmetics, Beardo (Ashutosh Valani & Priyank Shah), Dr. Vaidya’s (Arjun Vaidya; India Lead @Verlinvest), NOTO (Varun Sheth), & financial services group Ashika, among other angels.

In an official statement, the Delhi-based startup said it plans to use these funds to scale operations into South India, accelerate hiring, & build a robust tech platform. 

ZFW helps D2C brands expand & fulfill orders in 30 minutes, 2 hours, & the same day using its network of tech-enabled dark stores across India. The startup, founded in 2020 by F&B entrepreneur Madhav Kasturia, currently services 20,000+ orders a month & is on track to achieve 50,000+ by end of this quarter. 

On the announcement, ZFW founder Madhav Kasturia said, “COVID rapidly accelerated the emerging trend of direct orders for a huge segment of the e-commerce space. We’re building a strong dark store network for D2C brands who will ride this wave. ZFW is on track to grow 10X by the end of 2022.”

“In Madhav & team, we saw deep passion & courage to address inefficiencies in the increasingly competitive D2C market. A model that enables brands to reach more customers in the fastest possible time while solving for customer experiences, high RTOs, & profitability- is well-poised to capitalize on India’s $100+ billion D2C Opportunity by 2025. We’re delighted to partner with them in their next phase of growth,” Rahul Jain, Founder of Epigamia, said.

Arjun Vaidya, Founder, Dr. Vaidya’s & India Lead, Verlinvest said, “From the time I first met Madhav in March ’21, I was very excited about ZFW. D2C enablement is going to be a massive space & ZFW solves a real problem of quick fulfillment for brands using unutilized spaces. It’s a clever business model that makes sense & I’m excited to see how it grows.”

Ashutosh Valani, Founder of Renee Cosmetics & Beardo (Acq. by FMCG giant Marico) said, “ZFW is catering to a large & untapped opportunity of Quick D2C service in India with a clear path to scale to 50 cities in the next 2 years. Thrilled to see so many consumer brands across new-age categories embrace their model.”

As part of its next phase, ZFW aims to launch 500+ dark stores across all major metro & mini-metro markets by the end of 2022.

About ZFW – 

ZFW helps D2C/F&B brands & logistics platforms expand hyperlocal delivery to newer geographies without upfront costs, overheads & operational hassles- through its network of tech-enabled dark stores across India. 

It currently helps grow leading brands across Delhi, Mumbai, & Pune such as Baskin Robbins, Vadilal, Keventers, NOTO, The Brooklyn Creamery, FabBox, etc. with more cities launching soon. ZFW is backed by strategic angels, real-estate family offices, & accelerators across India & US.

The founder- Madhav Kasturia was still a college student when he started his first venture: a chain of cloud kitchens across Delhi NCR. A tech enthusiast, Madhav’s specialties include understanding customer behaviors, launching GTM strategies, & forging mutually beneficial alliances across networks. He serves as a mentor & scout to several startups & VC funds across India & US.