Zepto emerges as first 2023 unicorn with $1.4 billion valuation after landmark funding round


New Delhi: In a groundbreaking move, online grocery delivery platform Zepto has secured a staggering $200 million in its Series E funding round, propelling the company’s valuation to an impressive $1.4 billion. This remarkable feat marks Zepto as the inaugural unicorn of 2023, setting an exhilarating tone for the year’s investment landscape.

Leading the charge in this funding round is the US-based private markets investment firm StepStone Group, making its maiden direct investment in an Indian company—a clear testament to Zepto’s burgeoning potential. Joining forces with StepStone, California-based Goodwater Capital also made a significant entry as a new investor, cementing confidence in Zepto’s strategic trajectory.

Equally noteworthy is the fervent support shown by existing investors, including Nexus Venture Partners, Glade Brook Capital, Lachy Groom, and others. Their reinforced commitment demonstrated through substantial follow-on investments, underscores the unwavering belief in Zepto’s mission.

This triumph is a continuation of Zepto’s impressive fundraising journey, as the company secured $200 million in its Series D funding round in December of the preceding year. Spearheaded by the renowned Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, the Series D round propelled Zepto’s valuation to a noteworthy $900 million.

Founded in 2021 by Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra, both Stanford University dropouts, Zepto’s rise to unicorn status is anchored in its innovative approach to quick commerce. With a laser focus on operational excellence, Zepto has transformed the majority of its dark stores into fully EBITDA-positive entities, showcasing its unparalleled adaptability and strategic prowess.

Zepto’s fiscal discipline has resulted in a remarkable reduction in burn rate, with projections pointing towards full EBITDA positivity within the span of 12 to 15 months. The company’s tenacity in achieving profitability while maintaining rapid growth is a testament to its operational acumen.

Evidently, Zepto’s meteoric rise has been fueled by substantial sales growth, boasting an impressive 300% year-on-year surge. This upward trajectory positions Zepto on the cusp of achieving a monumental milestone—an annualized sales figure of $1 billion within the upcoming quarters.

Aadit Palicha, co-founder and CEO of Zepto, attributed this success to a commitment to execution and customer-centric values. Palicha underscored Zepto’s dedication to building a transformative, long-lasting enterprise, expressing that this achievement merely marks the initial phase of the company’s journey.

As Zepto continues to disrupt the online grocery delivery space with its pioneering model, industry observers eagerly await the potential fulfillment of the company’s plans for an IPO launch in the next 2-3 years.