Founded in March 2015, DropKaffe is an on-demand coffee service. Bangalore based company was started by Amar Yashlaha, Chaitanya Chitta, Lakshmi Dasaka and Rakshit Kejriwal. With an aim to bring cafe experience to everyone’s doorstep, the company delivers hot coffee at a time and place convenient to the customer. As the company quotes, “It is your own cafe in the cloud!”
On talking about idea to start DropKaffe, the founders said, “We were inspired from solving our own pain point. All of us have lived in the United States. We were immersed in the coffee culture there. Coming back to India, it was substituted by varied options. We had a guy to just fetch coffee 4-5 times a day! We were intrigued if this problem is only ours or everybody else’s. When we ran a test marketing campaign to assess the potential demand for a service like this, we were blown away by the response. Within 10 days, over 5,000 people in Bangalore echoed our sentiments. That’s when we started DropKaffe to address everybody’s caffeine fix.”
How does a ‘coffee-delivery’ startup function?
The company is currently operational in select parts of Bangalore only and delivers varieties of hot and cold coffee, smoothies, milkshakes and bakery products as snacks with the drinks. . The customers can order using the app or web service. There is no minimum order and the payment can be made via two modes, i.e. COD or online payment. As the company claims, it usually takes 30-45 minutes to deliver the order.
There are three steps broadly in its operation: a supply chain, production and fulfilment. And then there are other processes that support it. They maintain a consistent taste, which highly depends on maintaining the consistency of the ingredients and the way coffee is brewed, however the company did not give more details and said “it is their secret sauce”.
Since fresh beverage delivery is not an easy task, the team finds finding the right packaging a big challenge. They explained that “While food delivery sector might be growing at a rapid pace, the support ecosystem is still lagging behind. Therefore, issues of spillage and insulation among others is what DropKaffe is working to solve very consciously.” Further adding they said, “We are working with traditional packaging companies to come with products that will address their packaging concerns, with their experience and customer needs and feedback.”
The team says, “Although there is no one delivering ready-to-consume coffee on demand, broadly anyone who is in the coffee and beverages space would be considered our competition, be it a Starbucks, Chai Point, or Chaayos.” Both Chai Point and Chaayos recently raised VC investments.
What is the market size and market opportunity?
“As per ‘India Coffee Shops & Café Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2017’, the coffee shops and café market in India is expected to be a $1 billion market by 2017. So the opportunity is massive in just coffee market alone and is even bigger in the broader beverages space,” quotes the team.
Present Status and Future Plans of the Company
The company has raised a Pre Series A round of funding of $300,000, from a mix of angel investors. The lead investors of the deal are – Silicon Valley based Ray Nathan and Bangalore based Manish Singhal. The amount will be used for talent acquisition, expansion and technology upgradation.
The company claims to have served more than 10,000 customers and delivered 60,000+ units of coffee and other beverages since inception. Currently, it is live in 5 locations across Bangalore. It is fulfilling close to 300 orders per day and is expecting to cross 1000 orders per day in coming 3-4 months. It has an in-house team and also outsources its delivery orders sometimes.
Talking about their expansion goal, the team says, “On the expansion front, our goal is to make DropKaffe available to every Bangalorean, either through our own fulfilment centers or through our partners.” The startup is targeting pan Bangalore presence by the end of 2015 and also has plans of entering metros (Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and others) in the coming year 2016.
The company also launched Android app service for its customers to make coffee ordering easy and fast. The iOS app will be rolled out in coming 2 months.
For future the startup is also planning to roll out its subscription service soon. Summing up, the founders added, “Given the amount of repeat behaviour we see, we want to give our customers the ability to plan their order well in advance. So they could schedule their personalized coffee for the entire week in one single transaction.” Further adding, Chaitanya Chitta, Founder said, “We anticipate to do more channels like Faasos. Our proposition is freshly made, no preservatives, healthy, delicious drinks that customers can consume at their convenience.”