Centrum’s PE arm bets on task management app Dunzo
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Kalpavriksh, the private equity arm of financial services firm Centrum, said it has invested in two more firms from its debut fund, including task management app Dunzo.

Kalpavriksh has invested Rs 5 crore ($720,000) in Dunzo Digital Pvt. Ltd.

Founded in 2015 by Kabeer Biswas, Ankur Aggarwal, Dalvir Suri and Mukund Jha, Dunzo is a chat-based task management app that allows users to create to-do lists. It fulfils tasks such as grocery and restaurant deliveries, instant local courier services and home services. The platform uses both artificial intelligence and human operators to offer its services.

Bengaluru-based Dunzo will use the capital to expand operations in Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Gurugram.

“We believe that Dunzo’s focus on cost-efficient logistics services by managing capacity utilisation throughout the day, will enable it to obtain a competitive edge in the hyperlocal services market,” said Anshul Agarwal, executive director at Kalpavriksh.

The startup offers its services through a mobile app, which is available on both Android and iOS platforms. The Dunzo app has been downloaded by more than one million users on Android, going by the information on the Google Play store.

In February, Dunzo raised $6.5 million (around Rs 46 crore) from a clutch of new and previous investors including Deep Kalra, the chairman and group chief executive officer of online travel services provider MakeMyTrip. It is also backed by Google, Blume Ventures and Alteria Capital.

Separately, Kalpavriksh also put Rs 10 crore ($1.4 million) in The Ayurveda Experience, a Delhi-based online ayurveda products platform owned by Transformative Learning Pvt. Ltd.

Through its brands iYURA and Ajara, the company offers healthcare, personal care and ayurvedic products in five countries.

The firm is looking to scale up its research and development facility to further strengthen its product portfolio and increase its geographic reach. As part of the funding agreement, Giri Krishnaswamy, investment chief, Kalpavriksh, will join the company’s board.

Kalpavriksh was launched in November 2016 with a corpus of Rs 500 crore. It invests in high-growth unlisted companies in the consumer, education, technology, healthcare and wellness sectors.

Kalpavriksh had invested $3 million in ed-tech startup Littlemore in March 2018. In December 2017, it had invested Rs 20 crore (around $3.1 million) in The Label Life, a premium online lifestyle brand.

Kalpavriksh had also invested Rs 6 crore (a little less than $1 million) in HEAL Institute, a sports medicine and physiotherapy chain.

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