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Zepto’s $665 Million Funding Triggers Major Discount War in Quick Commerce

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Zepto's $665 Million Funding Triggers Major Discount War in Quick Commerce

As our lives get busier, 10-minute delivery apps are becoming a blessing, bringing everything we need to our doorsteps in no time. These apps are truly changing the game. But with more companies jumping in, the competition is heating up. 

The quick commerce market in India is on the brink of major changes. With Zepto’s recent $665 million funding round, competition among key players like Blinkit, Instamart, and the soon-to-be-launched Flipkart is expected to intensify. This influx of capital is fueling expansion plans and may likely spark a discount war, challenging the market dynamics.

Before diving into more details, let’s first understand the capital surge. Capital surge refers to a period of increased investment in a particular sector. In the context of quick commerce (also known as q-commerce), this means a significant inflow of venture capital funding for companies offering rapid delivery of goods. This influx of money can fuel growth and innovation within the q-commerce space.

Industry executives say short delivery times no longer offer a competitive edge. Instead, platforms will focus on attracting consumers through pricing strategies. Zomato, the owner of Blinkit, has $1.5 billion in cash, while Swiggy is set to increase its funds with $450 million from an initial public offering.

Zepto’s Bold Move

Zepto’s substantial funding will enable it to double its dark stores to 700 by March 2025. This expansion is a strategic move to capture a larger market share, especially in highly contested regions like Bengaluru and Mumbai. With a significant increase in daily active users, Zepto is making a strong case for its growing consumer traction. This growth is an indication that there is ample room for new players to establish a foothold in the quick commerce space.

Blinkit’s Strategic Positioning

Blinkit, the largest player in India’s quick commerce market, is not idle. Backed by Zomato, Blinkit has shown a consistent positive contribution margin over the past three quarters. This means their revenue minus costs such as store operation expenses, delivery, and packaging costs has been positive. Blinkit’s strategy has been to improve operational leverage through higher throughput per store and betting on high-margin advertising revenue.

With Zomato investing an additional Rs. 300 crore, Blinkit is gearing up to expand into new markets and reinforce its presence in existing ones. The company’s approach has been maintaining profitability, a mindset that might shift as it enters new competitive territories.

Flipkart’s Entry

The entry of Flipkart into the quick commerce space is expected to shake things up further. Initially launching with several dark stores in Bengaluru, Flipkart’s strategy will likely focus on competitive pricing to attract customers. This approach could significantly disrupt the market, especially as Flipkart leverages its extensive logistical network and customer base.

The Discount War

As these players ramp up their operations, a discount war seems inevitable. While speed of delivery has been a key differentiator, the market is evolving. Industry executives suggest short delivery times are no longer a unique selling point. Instead, pricing strategies will be crucial in luring consumers. With new capital, companies like Zepto, Blinkit, and Flipkart are poised to offer aggressive discounts to gain market share.

The Broader Impact on the Market

The influx of capital into the quick commerce market is not just about expanding the number of dark stores. It is also about fortifying existing markets and enhancing logistical capabilities. For instance, Blinkit’s technology and operational efficiency investment aims to sustain its market leadership. Similarly, Zepto’s expansion into the Delhi-National Capital Region directly challenges Blinkit’s dominance in northern India.

Swiggy, another major player in the quick commerce space, is preparing for its own capital infusion from an imminent initial public offering. This additional funding will arm Swiggy with the resources needed to compete aggressively, potentially leading to further price wars.

Long-term Sustainability

Despite the imminent discounting battles, industry experts caution that sustainable growth in the quick commerce sector cannot rely solely on heavy discounts. Zepto has emphasized that consistent value delivery is crucial for long-term success. The focus will likely shift towards building a robust logistical infrastructure, enhancing technology, and diversifying product assortments to provide a comprehensive shopping experience.

Elara Capital highlights that the new capital raised across platforms will primarily be used for expansion. This includes deepening market presence, investing in working capital for categories requiring high inventory levels, and advancing technology. While discounts will play a role, the larger focus will be on these strategic areas to ensure sustained growth and market penetration.


With the recent capital surge, the quick commerce space in India is set to become increasingly competitive. Those who combine competitive pricing with operational efficiency, technological advancements, and consistent value delivery to consumers will win the true battle. As the market heats up, observing how these strategies unfold and which players emerge as the dominant forces in India’s quick commerce sector will be fascinating.


  1. How does capital surge impact q-commerce companies?

    A capital surge can empower q-commerce firms in various ways. It enables expanding reach by establishing new dark stores or warehouses, enhancing technology through improved logistics and user experience, and fostering competitive pricing strategies to attract customers and boost market presence.

  2. Are there any downsides to the capital surge in q-commerce?

    While a capital surge offers advantages, it also brings challenges. Companies may prioritize discounts over profitability to attract customers, potentially neglecting sustainable business practices. Market saturation could occur as increased competition from newly funded entrants saturates the market, posing difficulties for smaller firms. Additionally, rapid expansion may strain employees to meet aggressive delivery schedules, potentially compromising work quality and employee satisfaction.

  3. What does the future hold for q-commerce with this capital surge?

    The future of q-commerce is likely to see continued growth driven by the current capital surge. However, it's important to see if companies can achieve sustainable practices beyond just offering discounts. Consolidation within the market is also a possibility, with stronger players acquiring weaker ones.

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I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.

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