Swiggy - a master
class in scale
We first met Harsha over a Skype call in August, 2014. Swiggy was still pre-launch then – in fact, just a splash page. At that time, the food delivery space was extremely competitive, with plenty of well-funded teams and rampant discounting. But we had not been able to build conviction on any of the larger players and business models.
However, after just one conversation with Harsha, we knew Swiggy was different. Harsha’s customer obsession and real understanding of industry pain points stood out very clearly. He had deep conviction that a platform like Swiggy should own delivery operations, ensuring complete control over the most critical factor in the user’s experience: on-time delivery. Swiggy prioritized reliability over discounts as well as the number of restaurants on the platform. This model also enabled restaurants without delivery capabilities to reach a far wider audience. It was a ground-level insight that other start-ups had missed completely.
“At the time, one would typically rate a restaurant a ‘good’ service provider if they delivered within an hour."
"And we just couldn’t understand why this was so if Domino’s could deliver in thirty minutes. It’s a relatively easy problem if you take a logistics-first view and hack away at it. We couldn’t see how the problem would be solved the way competitors were thinking about it – the bare minimum acceptable customer experience needed us to own delivery. We believed this category could pop-open only logistics-first, if it had to become large.”
- Harsha Majety, co-founder & CEO, Swiggy
Meeting Harsha and Nandan in person made us even more excited about their vision.
However, we sat tight until the company had a tech co-founder – we knew that tech was going to be critical to win this space.
We met the team again in October 2014. By now, Rahul had joined as the tech co-founder, which was very encouraging. Swiggy had also been live for a few weeks now, and early data proved that the team's customer service focus was getting results. User retention was strong, and customers were ordering very frequently, even though Swiggy was charging a delivery fee on every order.
“We picked only the ‘good’ restaurants that didn’t deliver or had a problem with delivery, so that the need was acutely felt."
"Where restaurants didn’t want to partner with us but we wanted them onboard, we bought food ourselves and took photographs at home. Once some of the restaurants realized we were helping them get business they would have lost otherwise, they started asking us for hundreds of pamphlets and pushed these themselves to customers – and that drove the flywheel."
Harsha Majety, co-founder & CEO, Swiggy
We had no doubt that Harsha, Nandan, and Rahul were the strongest team in this space. So we went all in.
Elevation invested $1M in January 2015
At the time we signed a term sheet with Swiggy in October 2014 they had:
in Koramangala, Bengaluru
Average daily order total
4 orders per customer per month
Average delivery time
1000 daily orders
By April 2015, Swiggy had 1,000 average daily orders
Launch of real time order tracking
Swiggy launches real-time order tracking, which receives deep customer love, and has now become the industry standard
$16.5M raised from Norwest, Elevation, Accel, Apoletto
10,000 Daily Orders
By September 2015, Swiggy had hit the ground running, with 10,000 average daily orders
“We were going through a rough patch, when in 2015, in a great show of confidence, Elevation supported us by leading a round when a lot of things were unproven - that was probably one of the most pivotal moments for us in Swiggy’s journey.”
Harsha Majety, co-founder & CEO, Swiggy
Elevation leads a $42M round; other investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest, Accel
100,000 daily orders
By May 2017, Swiggy was sitting at 100,000 average daily orders
From May 2017 to Dec 2018 Swiggy raised $1.3B from Elevation, Naspers, DST, Meituan, Coatue, Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, Wellington Management, Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Harmony Partners
Swiggy’s vision expands beyond food delivery to deliver the same level of customer delight across multiple categories; this journey starts with the acquisition of SuprDaily
1,000,000 Daily Orders
Swiggy Genie Launches
Swiggy launches its pickup and drop service, Swiggy Genie
Swiggy forays into grocery with Instamart
We feel privileged to have been partners with Swiggy in executing their bold vision, where today they are:
- Market leader in the food delivery space
- The go-to destination for all local deliveries; Instamart, Genie, Supr Daily
- Present in 450+ Indian cities
One big contributor to Swiggy’s success has been Harsha’s ability to build a best-in-class team at every stage. We still share team slides from Swiggy’s old pitch decks with younger portfolio companies to set a benchmark for the kind of teams they should aspire to build.
While Swiggy’s journey and growth over the years has been well documented, the most rewarding part of the partnership has been seeing Harsha become a phenomenal leader, and build an amazing team and culture. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Swiggy as they scale greater heights.
“Swiggy has firmly cracked the food delivery market in India, but this is just the beginning. I get goosebumps when I think about the possibilities that lie ahead for Swiggy as we take our DNA of customer obsession and flawless execution to other verticals. The first 5 years of Swiggy’s journey have been really special, and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years have in store.”