The past few months have been action packed for quick commerce platform Dunzo as the company faced the departure of top level executives including co-founders and its finance head, delay in salaries of several employees and mass layoffs across phases. The company had raised a $240 million round led by Reliance by the end of fiscal year FY22. However, the failure to control rising expenses has meant a descent into deep losses despite a four fold jump in revenue in the last fiscal year or FY23.
Dunzo’s revenue from operations surged 4.1X to Rs 226 crore in FY23 from Rs 54 crore in FY22, according to its consolidated financial statements filed with the Registrar of Companies.
Collections from the sale of traded goods formed 62% of the total operating revenue. This income stood at Rs 141 crore in FY23. Dunzo started this segment with the launch of the dark store model in 2020. The company, however, shut down almost all stores due to unsustainable investment demands in the current year.
The rest of the income came from the platform services and warehouse fees during the previous fiscal year. Check TheKredible to see the detailed revenue breakdown.
Being an on-demand delivery company, runners contact fees was the largest cost center which formed 18% of the overall expenses. This cost surged 2.7X to Rs 367 crore in FY23 from Rs 134 crore in FY22.
- Cost of materials
- Employee benefit expense
- Advertising promotional expenses
- Legal professional charges
- Contracted manpower
- Information technology
- Runner contract fee and incentives
Its employee benefit cost rose 2.4X to Rs 338 crore in FY23. This includes Rs 74 crore as ESOP cost which was settled in cash. Its massive ad spend, rent, contracted manpower, liquidation damages, IT cost, legal fees, and other operating overheads raised its overall cost 3.86X to Rs 2,054 crore in FY23 from Rs 532 crore in FY22. Head to TheKredible to see the complete expense breakup.
Significant investments in dark stores, advertising, and employee costs caused the company’s losses to rise 3.8X to Rs 1801 crore in FY23 from Rs 464 crore in FY22. Its EBITDA margin stood at -677% in FY23. On a unit level, the company spent Rs 9.09 to earn a unit of operating revenue.
Expense/₹ of Op Revenue
The company’s current assets tally to Rs 347 crore till FY23. This includes the cash and bank balance of Rs 216 crore with the trade receivables of Rs 45 crore only.
All this has meant Dunzo remains in survival mode, and trying to raise fresh funding. As per media reports, the company’s valuation may come down to $200 million from a peak of $800 million after the fresh round.
Interestingly, existing backers Reliance and Google are unwilling to put in new capital in the Kabir Biswas-led company. Currently, Reliance and Google control 25% and 18% stake in the company. Check TheKredible for complete shareholding.
Meanwhile, Dunzo’s direct competitors including Zepto, Swiggy’s Instamart and Zomato-owned Blinkit are doing relatively better, even as smaller firms like Porter continue to nip away at any profitable segments.
Zomato, which recently filed its Q2 FY24 report, stated that Blinkit contributed Rs 505 crore out of total revenue of Rs 2,828 crore in the second quarter of this fiscal year. Zepto turned unicorn in August this year and the firm reported 14X jump in its revenue to Rs 2024 crore in FY23. As per Entrackr’s sources, Swiggy is planning to turn Instamart profitable ahead of its initial public offering (IPO).
Dunzo’s troubles seem self inflicted, considering how long people have questioned its revenue model. Having storied investors like Google on board helped deflect a lot of the questions, but eventually, market realities seem to have won out, as always. The Reliance entry raised hopes that a path to viability was around the corner with a possible tie-in with Reliance Retail’s huge logistic requirements, but even that hasn’t happened, leaving the firm in the lurch. Dunzo risks becoming a cautionary tale of misplaced investor exuberance and blindsided optimism from founders. It was an issue we had flagged over a year ago, despite some strong pushback from the firm on improving ‘margins’ and impending deals.