Google-backed Indian “Concierge App” Dunzo Raises $45 Million 

Dunzo, a Google-backed Indian rough equivalent to DoorDash has raised a $45 million D round, bringing its valuation to $200 million, according to Tech Crunch. Investors in this new round include Google, Lightbox Ventures, STIC Investment and STIC Ventures, and 3L Capital.

Dunzo was launched four years ago, initially as a What’sApp-based service, to deliver everything from groceries to take out to pet supplies.

The company currently operates in eight Indian cities and plans to use the fresh capital to strengthen its infrastructure and develop partnership with Indian SMBs.

What makes Duzno unique and earns it both the “concierge” and “hyperlocal” labels is that it takes its services offering way beyond home delivery of purchased goods. Dunzo will also run random errands for you, even going to your home to collect your forgotten mobile phone charger and bring it to the office.

We recently wrote about the Vietnamese app Grab, which began as a ride-hailing service but has ambitions to evolve into a WeChat-like “super app” for Southeast Asia. Perhaps Google sees similar potential in Dunzo? For his part, Mark Zuckerberg has expressed interest in the super app concept.

Dunzo was the first company in India to receive a direct investment from Google, which led a $12.7 million B round back in 2017. Google has also invested in the Indian e-commerce platform Fynd.

Google isn’t the only tech giant making bets on India. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to invest up to $10 million in Indian start-ups. Also this year, Facebook invested $25 million in Meesho, a platform for reselling goods.

Why India? For starters, it’s a market with a massive and fast-growing middle class. One estimate predicts India will surpass the U.S. as the second-largest middle class as soon as 2022.

A quick cultural note. Food delivery has a rich heritage in India, notably in Mumbai. For more than a century, office workers who can’t make it home to lunch have had “tiffin boxes” carrying home-cooked meals hand-delivered to their workplaces by dabbawalas.

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