Dunzo, a hyperlocal delivery startup in India, is postponing employee salaries for a month and intends to settle remaining dues from the previous month also in September as the Google and Reliance Retail-backed startup hunts for new funding.
The Bengaluru-headquartered startup, which partially deferred making payroll for last month until this week, said Wednesday that it will not be able to pay the remainder of their salaries until early September and is delaying the August salary for all employees to September 4 as well.
The delay in salary comes as the startup focuses on “streamlining our cash flow so we can build a more sustainable business for the future,” it wrote to employees in an email.
“We need your support as we work through this,” the company wrote. A Dunzo spokesperson said the company did not immediately have a comment.
The eight-year-old startup, which secured some funding just a few months ago, has raised nearly $500 million altogether and was last valued at $757 million, according to market intelligence firm Tracxn.
Dunzo has been looking to raise a large funding round for several quarters. The company was eyeing as much as $150 million earlier and could only secure about $45 million in a recent funding round, Indian news outlet Economic Times reported. TechCrunch reported in late March that Dunzo was finalizing a $50 million round.
It’s now looking to raise another $20 million to $25 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. Economic Times said earlier this week that the startup was in talks with Reliance Retail for additional funds as many of its other existing backers had not participated in the recent financing round.
Numerous startups globally are struggling to raise new funds as venture investors become cautious about new backings amid the weakening economy. It also doesn’t help that Dunzo operates in the cash-guzzling category of instant grocery delivery that is increasingly seeing consolidation across the globe.
Zomato acquired the struggling 10-minute grocery deliver startup Blinkit in a $568.1 million all-stock deal last year. Food delivery giant Swiggy, which operates in the space through Instamart, has also slowed the growth of its instant grocery delivery business in recent quarters.
Dunzo, in the meantime, has shut more than half of all its so-called dark stores — warehouses dotting a city where firms store their inventories — in recent quarters and is increasingly prioritizing its business-to-business offering, the paper reported.