While foodtech majors (Zomato and Swiggy) in India enjoying their best days in terms of scale and fundraising, the space has always been extremely difficult for small players. In yet another case of shutting down, food-ordering startup Twigly has abandoned its services almost after three years of operations.
Entrackr has tried to place an order through the app as well as via contact number given on the portal but it throws a closure message, “currently we are not taking up orders”. Besides, a banner on the website displays that Twigly is closed and all unused subscription amount will be refunded shortly.
The Gurugram-based company used to offer pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and grilled meats. It had raised about $600K from the likes of Tracxn Labs, Hyderabad Angels, FreeCharge cofounder Kunal Shah, Flipkart’s vice-president of engineering Gaurav Bhalotia.
It also offered subscriptions for frequent customers.
Prior to the aforementioned round, it claimed $200K in November 2015 from Aloke Bajpai (IXIGO), Amit Gupta, (Inmobi), Delhivery co-founders including Tracxn and partners and employees of SAIF Partners.
However, after the two successful seed rounds, the startup couldn’t manage to raise any further risk capital, which could be the possible reason behind ceasing its operations.
Co-founded by Sonal Minhas, ex-vice-president at SAIF Partners along with Rohan Dayal and Naresh Kachhi in 2015, Twigly had been operating through online kitchen model in Delhi NCR region where the food is made at a central kitchen and shipped to customers directly.
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With a teamsize of over 50 people, it claims to offer food within 45 minutes in a five-km radius around our kitchens.
During an interview with YourStory, the startup claimed that within 17 months of operation it has established a user base of 10,000 customers. At that time it was delivering close to 350 orders per day and aimed to scale the business to $100 million in sales in the next 3-4 years.
While food-tech startups were funded heavily during the 2014-15 phase, the segment turned tepid in 2016 and many startups including TinyOwl, Eazymeals, BiteClub, Dazo and most recently Yumist and MonkeyBox had closed down as raising funds and figuring unit-economics became tough.
The euphoria around food-tech has comeback but limited to top two large companies – Zomato and Swiggy. While Zomato had gobbled $200 million from Alibaba’s Ant Financials, Swiggy had recently raked in $210 million in a Series G round from Naspers, DST Global, Coatue Management and Meituan-Dianping.
The shut down of Yumist, MonkeyBox, and Twigly outlines the fact that survival of small players with limited financial backing in foodtech space is very tough. Now, only a handful of startups including BOX8, FreshMenu, HolaChef, InnerChef and a few others left in the fray.
We have sent an email to Twigly to understand the reasons behind the closure. We will update the post as response comes in.
Update: Twigly has replied to our queries and confirmed its shut down.