According to a person familiar with the situation, quick commerce startup Blinkit, which is being acquired by food delivery company Zomato, promoted long-time executive Rishi Arora to cofounder level two months before the acquisition.
Sajal Gupta, a former Zomato executive, was also appointed as the company’s CTO.
The appointment of Arora as cofounder follows the departure of Blinkit co-founder Saurabh Kumar in June of last year. Kumar went on to found Warpli, a company that delivers everything from groceries to electronics in 30 minutes.
On June 10, the startup announced that it was halting operations due to a “lack of tech infrastructure” at local stores used for last-mile delivery. The startup stated that the app would be relaunched soon.
Arora has been with Blinkit, formerly known as Grofers, for over eight years and previously held the position of senior vice president of operations. Meanwhile, Gupta worked for Zomato for five years before joining Blinkit in January, according to his LinkedIn profile.
According to the source cited above, the promotions were announced via the internal communication platform Slack. ET’s inquiries were not answered by Zomato or Blinkit.
Zomato is currently in the process of completing its $578 million acquisition of Blinkit. On July 4, ET reported that a group of Mumbai-based high net worth investors had complained to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) that Zomato had failed to make timely disclosures to stock exchanges about its acquisition of Blinkit.
Zomato’s shares fell after the board approved the deal on June 24 and saw a Rs 12,000 crore drop in valuation, which is nearly three times that of Blinkit, which is valued at Rs 4,447.5 crore. As of Friday evening, Zomato’s share price was Rs 54.85, or about 28% less than its issue price of Rs 76.
According to the agreement, Blinkit shareholders will receive approximately 7% of Zomato at a price of 70.76 per share. The transaction is expected to close in early August, according to the company’s announcement to the stock exchange. Blinkit made Rs 22.1 crore in revenue in January, its first month as a fully fledged quick commerce business. As of May, this figure had risen to Rs 58 crore.
It recorded a gross order value (GOV) of Rs 402.8 crore in the same month, up from Rs 295.5 crore in January.
Blinkit’s revenue is comprised of marketplace commissions, customer delivery charges, advertisement revenue, warehousing and ancillary services revenue. It is present in 15 of the top cities.