Ola is contemplating a massive push for its fast e-commerce platform, Ola Dash, by setting up 500 darkish stores in 20 cities within the next six months.
The acquisition comes at a time when a handful of companies, like Swiggy and Zomato, are targeting a significantly larger role in this fast-growing market. Others, such as BlinkIt (formerly Grofers), Dunzo, and Mumbai-based Zepto, are expanding their rapid delivery services as well.
Swiggy acquired $700 million in a funding round led by US investment manager Invesco previously last week, valued at $10.7 billion. Last week, Zepto secured $100 million at a $570 million capitalization. Dunzo has received a $240 million fundraising round sponsored by Reliance Industries in exchange for a strong minority share.
Ola Dash currently operates in nine cities and has 200 dark stores with over 2,500 stock-keeping products. But by end of the year, it hopes to receive more than 500,000 purchases every day. Dark stores are local supply hubs that make it easier to get goods quickly.
Commenting on the situation, Anshul Khandelwal, Chief Marketing Officer at Ola said, “Ola has been a leader in the on-demand mobility business for more than a decade. Our advanced geolocation tech, coupled with the very low cost of customer acquisition gives us a unique advantage to bring the benefits of mobility to all. Our quick commerce service is an essential part of our connection with customers as they rely on technology and online service to fulfill their daily needs. Over the next few months, we will be expanding our reach and presence to more cities and customers.”
Ola’s rapid emphasis is part of its effort to establish itself as a good app ahead of a planned public offering. The company recently secured $500 million to fund its emerging businesses, such as rapid e-commerce and a car sales network. It’s seeking to increase expenditure by customers who have the Ola app installed on their phones.
This isn’t the first time Ola has dabbled in supplies. In 2016, The company’s location-based supply business was shut down. Three years later, it closed its food-delivery segment Foodpanda and shifted its focus only to virtual kitchens. As per sources, Vinay Bhopatkar is in charge of Ola’s dining, and location-based businesses.