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BENGALURU : The retail arm of Reliance Industries Ltd has acquired a 25.8% stake in Google-backed hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo, expanding billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s presence in the fast-growing grocery delivery market.

Reliance Retail has invested $200 million in Dunzo as it led a $240 million funding round in the Bengaluru-based firm. Existing investors Lightbox, Lightrock, 3L Capital and Alteria Capital also participated in the round.

Dunzo said, in a statement on Thursday, that it plans to use the fresh capital to accelerate instant delivery of essentials from a network of micro warehouses while also expanding its business-to-business (B2B) vertical to enable logistics for local merchants across Indian cities.

Mint reported in October about Reliance’s plans to back Dunzo, along with other existing investors. Dunzo and Reliance Retail will also frame certain business partnerships and funding. Dunzo will enable hyperlocal logistics for Reliance Retail’s retail outlets, enhancing the company’s omnichannel capabilities. According to the statement, Dunzo will also help Reliance’s own JioMart’s network of merchants with last-mile delivery.

“With this investment from Reliance Retail, we will have a long-term partner with whom we can accelerate growth and redefine how Indians shop for daily and weekly essentials. We’re excited by the traction and velocity that Dunzo Daily has achieved," said Kabeer Biswas, CEO and co-founder of Dunzo.

The additional funds will be used to expand Dunzo’s rapid commerce operations to 15 cities from the current seven. Dunzo also debuted its quick delivery service, ‘Dunzo Daily,’ in Bengaluru last year, which is recording a weekly growth rate of more than 20%. It claims to offer daily and weekly necessities within 15-20 minutes.

“We are seeing a shift in consumption patterns to online and have been highly impressed with how Dunzo has disrupted the space. Dunzo is the pioneer of quick commerce in India, and we want to support them in furthering their ambitions of becoming a prominent local commerce enabler," said Isha Ambani, director, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd.

Morgan Stanley was the financial adviser, and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas was the legal counsel to Dunzo. AZB and Partners acted as legal counsel to Reliance Retail and Deloitte while Haskins and Sells LLP provided financial due diligence services.

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