Jiffstore becomes second Startup Village-incubated firm to be acquired

Online grocery deliverer PepperTap buys Kochi-groomed firm


Kochi, Dec 30: Rapidly rising m-commerce platform Jiffstore has become the second company incubated in Startup Village, Kochi, to be acquired, after it was bought by PepperTap—a leading on?demand grocery delivery serviceheadquartered in the National Capital Region.

A grocery delivery solution, Jiffstore was incepted in October 2013 at Startup Village and nurtured there in the first couple of months after which it moved out to Bengaluru where it went on to partner 120 supermarkets and get 100,000 registered users.

A chunk of its operations is mobile apps-based, driven by its patented intelligent customer specific engine Jiffbot and ensures delivery of grocery items at the customers’ doorstep within 90 minutes of ordering.

 

PepperTap said the “idea behind this professional alliance is to tap into Jiffstore’s talent pool and rely on it for technical prowess”.

After the December 21 acquisition in an undisclosed amount of cash and stock deal, the JiffStore’s 40-strong team will join PepperTap’s Bangalore office and its headquarters in Gurgaon.

Shameel Abdulla, one of Jiffstore’s four founders, said Startup Village gave his company an exemplary start. “What lay in front was completely uncertain then, and the directions and connections we received then really mattered. Startup Village assisted in our initial pitches and choosing the investors as well,” he recalled. “The camaraderie in Startup Village is enviable. Every company there has become natural proponents of its vision.”

Launched by CXO Satish Basavaraj, COO Aswin Ramachandran and CTO Sandeep Sreenath besides CEO Abdulla, Jiffstore, with its zero inventory-based model, used to get a daily order of around 1,000 with an average basket size of Rs 600, giving big-time competition to rival firms such as Bigbasket, Zopnow, and Grofers in Bengaluru.

Abdulla will now be also serving Startup Village as a visiting faculty to teach young start-ups.

Startup Village Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar said the Indian startup ecosytem is fast maturing with acquisitions now starting to happen.

Substantiated Startup Village mentor Kris Gopalakrishnan: “This was previously an option that existed only in the Silicon Valley. Today, with Indian startup ecosytem evolving superfast, young talents with startup experience are in huge demand by other fast-growing companies. Kudos to the Jiffstore team.”

P.H. Kurian, Principal Secretary (IT), Government of Kerala, said the Jiffstore success story was yet another instance of how business can be built by intelligent application of ideas beyond the purview of textbooks.

For Jiffstore, its original idea of transforming the grocery shopping experience has now found a “perfect synergy” in PepperTap.

“Our simple and effective platform has got retailers and customers hooked,” said Satish Basavaraj. Chimed in Aswin Ramachandran: “By joining hands, we hope to deliver an exceptionally delightful experience to the customers on a wider scale at an even more rapid pace.”

The Jiffstore app was chosen as one of the Top 20 made-in-India apps by the Apple Appstore and the Best App from India in 2104 by the Google Developer Group.

Abdulla, while thanking Startup Village, TLABS, Unitus Seed Fund, iSPIRT, NASSCOM and Bangalore Alpha Labs besides its investors and mentors   for their guidance, said Jiffstore encashed on the smartphone revolution, transforming the way people buy groceries.

Sandeep Sreenath said the team found the start-up ecosystem very vibrant with opportunities for rapid progression, pointing out that Jiffstore allowed customers to use an easily-navigable mobile app (available on iOS and Android) and virtually browse through listed items before placing orders.

With just a click/tap on the phone, it provided round-the-clock customer care besides free home delivery. Launched with a single store at Kasturinagar here in early 2014, Jiffstore added 25-plus stores in less than a month.

PepperTap co-founder CEO Navneet Singh said Jiffstore came across as the “apt choice in boosting our customer experience”, given its reputation in Bengaluru with loyal customers and an ever-increasing dealer base. “We hope to utilise Jiffstore’s talent pool and seek tech support from them through this acquisition,” he noted.

MindHelix, which is focused on smartphone application development, was the first company to be incubated at Startup Village and acquired. Leading portal AskMe bought the students’ startup in 2014

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