ZFW Dark Stores, a full-stack fulfillment technology platform for e-commerce brands, announced that it had raised a USD 1.2 million seed round from Riso Capital, SEA Fund, Lead Fund, and a clutch of marquee founder-angels.
New investors also include Middle East conglomerate Qudrah National Holdings, Archana Priyadarshini (GP, Point One Capital), South Asia Technology Partners, Long Tail Ventures, Jasminder Gulati (Founder, NowFloats; acquired by Reliance), and founders of India’s fastest-growing brands like The Mom’s Co (Mohit Sadaani), Rage Coffee (Bharat Sethi), Neeman’s (Amar Chhabra), Jimmy’s Cocktails (Ankur Bhatia), Letsbuy.com (Amanpreet Bajaj), Thrive (Karan Chechani and Dhruv Dewan), Almo (Abhishek Shah), and Aman Arora (Keventers) among other angels. Existing investors like ice.vc, Mumbai Angels, & Arjun Vaidya (Founder, Dr. Vaidya’s) participated in the round.
The Delhi-based startup plans to use the funding to expand its dark store operations across India, streamline hiring, and expand its technological capabilities to provide a seamless delivery experience. It previously received USD 415,000 in pre-seed funding from Indvest Family Office, Runwal Group, Epigamia, Beardo, The Face Shop, NOTO, etc.
Through its dark stores and last-mile deliveries across India, ZFW Dark Stores enables D2C brands to fulfill orders to clients in 30 minutes, 2 hours, and on the same day.
Rage Coffee, Clinikally, Epigamia, Jimmy’s Cocktails, HUL, Havmor Ice Cream, and Vadilal are among the 150+ dark stores operated by the startup, which was created in 2021 by cloud kitchen entrepreneur Madhav Kasturia.
Commenting on the round announcement, ZFW Dark Stores founder Madhav Kasturia said, “Our technology platform empowers new-age brands that want to sell through their own channels and offer a superior Amazon-like Same-Day Delivery experience to customers: without breaking the bank or worrying about risks associated with over-dependence on E-commerce platforms (low margins, lack of control, and data). Solving for pain points in fulfilment like high RTOs, low customer delight, and margins is at the core of what we do. We’re humbled to welcome new investors and especially enjoy the continued confidence of so many D2C founders- some of whom first joined us as customers & then doubled down on our mission as angels.”
With rising online shoppers, acquisition costs, and evolving brand loyalties in post-Covid E-commerce, brands need to be closer to customers than ever before, with robust technology and infrastructure to meet demand.
ZFW Dark Stores plans to expand to 10 cities across India by the end of 2022 as part of its next phase.