Saurabh Kumar, co-founder of SoftBank-backed online grocer Grofers is leaving the company, even as Grofers is in talks with food delivery firm Zomato for an investment.
“I’ve known @skgrofers for 14 years and I’ve spent the last 8 years building
@grofers with him. Today, SK is moving on to other challenges and I wish him the very best. It has been an honour and a delight,” Albinder Dhindsa, co-founder and chief executive of the company said in a Tweet.
Kumar announced his depature to Grofers employees in an email, which Moneycontrol has seen a copy of. While he wont be actively involved with Grofers anymore, he will continue being a shareholder and board member.
Grofers was founded in 2014 by Dhindsa and SK- as he is known by company insiders and friends, and was among a litany of hyperlocal startups at the time. Most of them, including PepperTap and LocalBanya shut down after the 2015 funding frenzy, when investors and founders realised so many players cannot compete in the space.
Grofers and Tata-owned BigBasket are the largest players in the space currently. “Over the last few years, we ended up building many industry-firsts, growing from a small startup into one of India’s most loved grocery shopping platforms. None of this would have been possible without SK’s drive and determination, his unwavering commitment towards our mission, and the way he rallied our teams to move mountains, while delivering on the lowest price commitment to millions of first time internet grocery shoppers in India,” Dhindsa said in a blog post.
“Over the last 6 months, SK had been yearning to invest in his own personal evolution – to grow beyond a growth driver to become a designer, enabler and coach. And diving deeper has convinced him that this is another area he can have a huge impact on, if he can build on it from scratch,” he added
Founders leaving late stage startups is becoming more common in India. in 2018, Pankaj Chaddah, co-founder of Zomato left the company in 2018 to found his own mental wellness startup Mindhouse.
Two co-founders of logistics firm Delhivery- Mohit Tandon and Bhavesh Manglani also left the company in March this year- less than a year before Delhivery is expected to file for a public offering.
“I haven’t known a life outside Grofers in the last 8 years. Most of my learning and growing up has happened here. In my mistakes, I never felt alone. And everytime we made a dent, we shared success the same…I am thankful for this,” Kumar said in the email.
His exit also comes at a time when Zomato has been reportedly planning to acquire Grofers, or initially take a minority stake by investing $100 million and then acquiring it, according to an Economic Times report.