Gurgaon-based 74 BC Technologies, which owned and operated bike taxi service Baxi, is reportedly in the process to launch a hyper-local delivery model. For this, the company has tied up with two major FMCG brands.
Baxi had raised Rs 10 crore in 2015 from a host of well-known early-stage investors and is in the final stages of launching its hyper-local delivery service, which is expected to go live in January. The company has also partnered with home-grown consumer goods brand Patanjali Industries and dairy major Mother Dairy.
As part of the pivot, Baxi will rebrand as B-fresh, and will deliver goods, across the dairy, fruits and vegetables, drugs and other household items to consumers spread across Gurgaon and certain parts of Delhi.
“The idea was to tie up with retail chains, which had a significant physical presence, but do not have enough presence to create their own app,” Johri said.
The B-fresh model is similar to that of US-based grocery delivery startup Instacart Inc, which recently closed a $600-million funding round, valuing the company at $7.6 billion. B-Fresh will also compete with the likes of home-grown grocery startups Alibaba-backed BigBasket and SoftBank portfolio company Grofers.
Under its new model, B-Fresh has brought on board 800 delivery executives on to its platforms, and through its partnership with Mother Dairy, will deliver products, including dairy and grocery items from over 2,000 stores.
“Bike taxi as a full-time employment does not work…Secondly, it works much better and much more efficiently as a roadside pickup service than on an app-on-demand service,” Johri said.
Baxi shut its bike taxi services in mid-2017, due to a combination of unviable unit economics, lack of consumer demand and an uncertain regulatory environment. It had started services at a time when both ride-hailing majors, Uber and Ola, had also launched their bike taxi operations, but either shuttered them completely or scaled them down.