Eyeing foreign markets for expansion, GHV incubated start-up Lazylad bags $500K from global investors

By Swadha Mishra

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Operating in the hyper local grocery delivery space, Gurgaon-based GHV Accelerator's first start-up LazyLad has bagged $500K in funding in its Pre-Series A round from a group of global investors, including Kiyohiro Sugashita, a prominent financial expert from Japan; Jai Choi, prominent venture capitalist from Silicon Valley; and Hirokazu San. The new funding came within sixty days of it raising $100K in its seed round, showing an impressive 10x growth during the period.

Commenting on the investment, Jai Choi said, "With India becoming one of the major economies for Internet traffic and smart phones, we found Lazylad's approach to daily hyper local goods delivery on mobile very compelling. Already operating in 2 regions, they seamlessly bring together local merchant and consumers to transact effortlessly. Fundamentally, we look for company builders that address large market problems at scale. We believe Lazylad has the right team and approach to becoming a category leader of localised commerce in India market."

The funds are expected to be utilised for accelerating their expansion plans in the major cities of India. With presence in Gurgaon and Chandigarh, the team now plans to launch the app in Indonesia, Singapore and other developing Asian countries as well. Commenting on the new round of funding, Saurabh Singla, CEO and Co-founder, LazyLad, said, "These funds will be utilised to enhance the product to an extent, where it becomes a household name in the country, which can connect with the customers through a powerful, scalable and asset light technology."

The Inception

Founded by three IIT graduates – Singla, Paresh Goel and Ajay Sethi, LazyLad currently operates in six segments – bakery & confectionery items; flowers; fruits & vegetables; daily groceries; meats & sea food and stationery. It strives to bring customers' neighborhood market "on mobile'. Based on frugal innovation and an asset-light business model, the app helps create a direct platform for retailers to sell and for customers to buy, thereby, doing away with middlemen in the neighborhood/hyper local market. The app, which was earlier available only on Android, is now available on iOS platform as well.

Sharing his thoughts on the growing on-demand hyperlocal grocery delivery space in India, Singla, expressed, "It's the nature of the model that has given us the boost. We are the first adapters of n-commerce, after Vikram Upadhyaya, Chief Mentor of GHV Accelerator, came up with the concept. A week after getting selected in GHV, we got selected in Nasscom 10,000 Startups, and eventually got selected for Innotrek 2015, which was held in Silicon Valley, USA. This provided us a great exposure of what is happening in the Silicon Valley and how that can be helpful in building a unicorn product company in India."

Growth Trajectory

Backed by marquee mentors like Upadhyaya and Sharad Sharma, who is the founder of iSpirit and ex-CEO Yahoo R&D India, the team is all geared up for its Series A round between $5-$10 million in the next 6 to 8 months. Lazylad claims to already have a substantial partial interest from some of the investors, who may invest to the tune of $3 million.

Validating the same, Vikram Upadhyaya, Chief Evangelist and Mentor at GHV Accelerator, said, "Accelerating LazyLad to the Pre-Series A round in just 60 days was fast and furious at GHV. Their speedy growth, including app downloads from 300 to 8,000; from 1,200 orders a month to 1,200 orders a day; from selective sectors to all of Gurgaon and Chandigarh; from 10 sellers to 200 seller base; from 5,000 SKUs to 500,000 SKUs; from 3 founders team to 30; and their next round of Series A around and above $5 million, positions them above the league of bootstrapped to unicorn in the making."

Accelerating Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

GHV accelerator strives to incubate start-ups in an ideal environment to scale and grow multifold. With key partners and an impressive list of mentors on-board like Japan-based venture capital firm World Innovation Lab (WiL), Applyifi, LetsVenture and others, GHV intends to not only scale a start-up, but to accelerate the pace of entrepreneurial ecosystem towards growth.

GHV has recently inducted FoodPort, a food-tech start-up operating out of Gurgaon, offering gourmet food at affordable prices. The accelerator had earlier on-boarded MyTaxiIndia (MTI), a technology based provider of inter-city and intra-city taxi services, which was further invited for Google's first Startup Bootcamp held in Bangalore in July 2015.

Swadha Mishra

Former Staff, Entrepreneur.com

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