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Funding Alert! Retail Convenience start-up DroptheQ raises USD 1.15 Mn in Seed round.

It all started with Vaibhav, an IIM Indore alumnus getting tired of waiting in queue for his Rajma Chawal. DroptheQ, his retail and food-tech venture that aims at helping people save themselves from waiting in Queues is already set for fast growth with a steady revenue stream and a funding of 1.15million USD in its kitty. The firm was invested in by Hyderabad based angel investors and raised this amount in its seed funding round which started and culminated well within a matter of two months.

As per Murli Krishnaa Vemuri, DroptheQ’s underlying idea had an instant resonance with the entire VC team. None of us likes waiting and as somebody who has been investing in the food-tech & Retail space, I have seen how Retail and QSRs suffer because of this endless line of orders. I personally feel that while the B2C space may take its own time to warm up to the concept, the B2B space of the restaurant and food court owners will have a lot to benefit from this.

Along with F&B, DroptheQ has developed the solution, Scan & Go for Modern Retail stores. They have plans to bundle it up with AI and ML-based theft prevention technology and introduce this to Indian retailers and customers.

Indian QSR and Modern Retail market is close to USD 45 Bn, while loads of work is being done around Online deliveries, however, very little is on offer for Offline Shoppers. One unique use case of the same came up with one leading grocery retail chain in Central India that DropTheQ is currently associated with. With demands getting excessive on weekends, the inventory management systems did end up showing out of stocks in many cases. With DroptheQ though, the retail chain was able to not just manage the crowd inside the outlet better but was also able to keep a stock of how much to fulfill in what time. DroptheQ would thus be seen soon across several outlets of this retail chain in North India as well.

If you look at the numbers, an average Indian spends a minimum of 156 days of their entire life waiting in queues. This is roughly 6 months worth of wait in a lifetime. Now imagine, someone cutting it short by say, half? Well, that is what DroptheQ is about.

While this was about the operational bits, DroptheQ is jointly headed by Vaibhav, Nikhil, and Swati. Kudos to the woman power here, Swati is the one who handles the day to day operations. In the words of Swati herself, “I have been running around my house managing stuff as well as work, DroptheQ is just another baby for me to handle! Now, while this baby keeps me awake at night, at least it doesn’t cry!”

The team displays an unusual camaraderie and is already on the path to hiring more foot on the ground to further its reach in the Delhi-NCR region.

As per Nikhil, who heads Tech, “DroptheQ has the vision to eliminate the Billing Counter Queues from all Retail formats using the latest and best technologies available in the world.” With the funds in place, the work has already started towards collaborating with more and more brands with the OKR set at getting a market cap of 15% by the end of FY 2021.

DroptheQ, which currently has some of the biggest names of the North Indian FnB space to its name, is planning to expand to all Metros and tier-1 cities within the next two quarters.

Some of the major clients of the brand include Subway, Nirulas, Baskin Robbins, Spark Mall, Parsvanath Math, and Inderlok Food Courts. In addition to this, they have also tied up with several top technology and management institutes in the country as well as some major clothing retail chains. Their contactless ordering was a special hit during the lockdown phase as it became the app of choice for people who wanted to go out but get a drive-through service instead of waiting in long lines.

The firm is definitely on the track to fast growth, and is fast grabbing the market! What remains to be seen is, how soon would they be a unicorn? The year 2021 came with a lots of promise, hoping that 2022 will be no different!

What do you think?

Written by Ravi Tilekar


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