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Hyperlocal delivery startup Genie raises $250K, to resume operations
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Chennai-based hyperlocal delivery and logistics startup Genie Solutions Pvt. Ltd will resume operations as it has raised $250,000 (around Rs 1.6 crore) from a group of unnamed high net-worth individuals (HNIs), it said in a statement.

The firm, which was founded in early 2015, was shut down on 31 March due to lack of funding.

The company will focus on attaining scale and being operationally profitable in a year along with creating supplementary products and sources of income, the firm said.

It will also look to raise a bigger round of funding for investing in technology, it said.

“With the investment, we are going to try solving the last-mile logistics problem with a lot more courage," said Rakesh Mani, co-founder of Genie.

“The amount of love we have received even after we ceased operations was incredible. We have been able to garner great traction in a city like Chennai, which is known to be one of the most conservative markets in the country,” Mani said.

Genie helps businesses plan and execute deliveries according to parameters including ticket size and distance. It claims to be working with over 150 clients, including Cake Walk, Shree Mithai, Green Goblin, Patanjali, Ferns N Petals and Zahana.

Customers can use Genie for getting grocery, medicines and food from restaurants; collecting cheques and documents; as well as picking lunch from home to office, among others. Genie charges a convenience fee for the pick-up and drop.

The startup was launched in early 2015 by Mani, Sreekesh Krishnan and Parth Shah. Krishnan is a graduate in electronics engineering while Shah is a chartered accountant. Mani handles operations and human resources.

Genie was the latest casualty in the hyperlocal delivery segment as investors turned cautious due to the lack of a sustainable business model at such startups. Over the past year-and-a-half, several hyperlocal delivery startups, including well-funded ventures like PepperTap and LocalBanya, have shut shop.

Grocery delivery startups have faced headwinds, too. A year ago, hyperlocal grocery and fresh food delivery startup Grofers India Pvt. Ltd had shut operations in nine cities.

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