Zepto Raises $665 Million In Largest Funding Round Of 2024, Now Valued At $3.6 Billion

It’s been an indifferent few quarters for Indian startups, but a few names are still managing to stand out from the rest.

Zepto has raised $665 million in a few funding round led by existing backers Glade Brook, Nexus, and StepStone and with participation from newer investors including Avenir Growth, Lightspeed and Avra. The round values the company at $3.6 billion. This is the largest funding round in the Indian startup ecosystem this year.

“We were able to raise this round because we were able to multiply gross merchandise value (GMV) to a north of $1 billion in sales in around 2.5 years, the fastest internet company in the world to do so. We’re growing by over 100 percent year-on-year,” Zepto CEO Aadit Palicha told Moneycontrol. “While doing that we were able to turn 75 percent of our markets fully EBITDA positive. So, if we hadn’t executed and delivered on those numbers, it would have been very difficult to raise. But because we did it, it was actually quite easy for us to raise the kind of capital we did,” he added.

Zepto will use the funds to enter new markets like Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and others while also increasing penetration in existing cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and others. The company expects to double its dark store count from 350 now to over 700 by March 2025.

Zepto’s fundraise comes at a time when Zomato-owned Blinkit, which is its chief rival, was valued at $12 billion by Goldman Sachs. Zepto, though, had created the category that Blinkit and others have now rushed into — Zepto had pioneered the 10-minute grocery space in India, having burst onto the scene in 2021 by introducing 10-minute deliveries. It had caused incumbents to radically change their own strategies — Grofers had rebranded as Blinkit, and committed to delivering groceries in 10 minutes as well, and players like Dunzo, Swiggy, Big Basket and even Ola had too launched similar quick delivery options. Within 6 months of its founding, Zepto had been worth $225 million, and within 18 months, it had been valued at $900 million. In August 2023, Zepto had shaken off the general slowdown in Indian startups to become the first unicorn of 2023 with a valuation of $1.4 billion, and just under a year later has nearly tripled its valuation to $3.6 billion.

Zepto is now one of India’s highest valued startups. It’s taken remarkably little time to get there — Zepto was founded just three years ago. More impressively, Zepto has created a whole category in India, creating the 10-minute delivery category, and forcing decade-old incumbents to follow suit. And now armed with more than half a billion dollars in funding, it will look to grow its presence and fight off bigger companies including Zomato, Swiggy and Big Basket which have all launched 10-minute deliveries of their own.