TinyOwl Discontinues Operations Except In Mumbai

Food tech startup TinyOwl has discontinued its services excluding Mumbai. The company, which has a presence in Ahmedabad, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Jaipur, Nagpur, Bangalore, Lucknow, Navi Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Mumbai informed its users through a ‘service update’, reports Medianama.

Mumbai based Tiny Owl has halted its operations citing that it is ‘improving delivery experience’.


In Mumbai, the startup will operate in areas including Churchgate, Colaba, Lower Parel, Mahim, Marine lines, Matunga East, Mumbai Central, Worli and Nariman Point among others.

We had earlier reported that TinyOwl is merging its operations with RoadRunnr and will launch Runner .

TinyOwl’s Financial Data : Rs. 24,000 Revenue From Operations At 25 Crores Loss #IndianStartupData

[Editor Notes : Nothing is as powerful as data and starting today, we bring to you #IndianStartupData – i.e. an overview of financial performance of selected Indian startups with a hope that it gives you a good picture of the companies and the ecosystem in general.
Mission : A PR-less startup ecosystem which thrives on great products and services!]

TinyOwl recently completed its one year of operations in June this year. It is a Mumbai based food ordering and delivery app. It claims to have 10,000 restaurants on board and receives 7,000 orders per day. In this article, our partner Tofler looks at the financial performance of TinyOwl in FY 2014-15.tinyowl-1

Launched in 2014, TinyOwl is owned by TinyOwl Technology Private Limited. It was co-founded by five IIT graduates:

  • Harsh Vardhan Mandad,
  • Gaurav Chowdhary,
  • Saurab Goyal,
  • Tanuj Khandelwal
  • Shikhar Paliwal.

Financial Performance of TinyOwl

TinyOwl is into its second year of operations. The company has reported Revenue from its operations as INR 24 thousand in the Financial Year 2014-15. Its Total Revenue stands at INR 44 lacs, the source for the remaining income being the interest received on VC funds parked as fixed deposits by the company.

However, total Expenses incurred by the Company were INR 25.5 Crores. It closed its financial year with a Loss of nearly INR 25 Crores. The major expense incurred by the company during this period was Employee Expense at INR 12 Crores.

TinyOwl Shareholding Pattern

Founders : 34.08%
Sequoia Capital : 21.24%
Nexus Ventures : 21.24%
Matrix Partners : 18.16%
Others : 5.28%

Funding received by TinyOwl

While different news sources on internet indicate that they have received a funding of USD 28 million – ~ INR 180 Crores – in 4 rounds so far (including the latest round of USD 7.7 million in October 2015), documents filed with the Registrar of Companies indicate that they have received total funding of INR 100 Crores in three rounds from Sequoia Capital, Nexus Ventures and Matrix Partners. Documents of the latest round (October 2015) have not been filed yet.

The details are as below:

Date Name of Investor Amount Invested (in INR)
July, 2014 Sequoia Capital 7.5 Crore
Nexus Venture 7.5 Crore
January, 2015 Sequoia Capital 6.3 Crore
Nexus Ventures 6.3 Crore
March, 2015 Matrix Partners 39.9 Crore
Nexus Venture 16.2 Crore
Sequoia Capital 16.2 Crore

The company was recently in the news for employee layoff crisis. The founders view it as “some difficult steps towards the big dream”.

With a surge in food tech and delivery startups over the past couple of years and recent cases of shut shops and layoffs, the segment seems to be in a consolidation phase. While, Tiny Owl has been one of the front runners in the segment so far, it remains to be seen how well they tackle this difficult phase and become financially sustainable. They have some of the top VCs’ money backing them up in the endeavor.

[About the author: Vishal and Anchal form the team that runs the Tofler blog. They like to explore and track companies, their performance and senior management. Tofler (tofler.in) is a Business Research Platform.]

TinyOwl Founder’s Official Response : Some difficult steps towards the big dream

There is a lot of drama happening at TinyOwl and the cofounder Harshvardhan has shared an update on the official blog:

As part of this process, we have restructured the organization to increase the organization’s efficiency and productivity, involving eliminations of certain positions from the company. It indeed was a very difficult step for us. But I believe some difficult steps need to be taken for the best interests of the company and to stay true to its vision in the longer run. As part of our efforts towards refurbishing the brand in the current scenario, our focus is to optimize our current resources and move towards a better ecosystem of business management, with a strong and robust backend. This development, however unfortunate, is a step towards sustainability and growth.

Every company goes through its set of difficulties in its journey, and in my opinion, we are fortunate to see these hardships in our earlier days itself. It gives us a chance to adopt the learnings, imbibe the same in our business model and lay stronger foundations for the brand from a long term perspective. We scale operational resources back from 4 cities and will move to the e-sales platform going forward to support customer needs and supply and logistics requirements. Our current focus remains to be building TinyOwl as a sustainable, profitable and scalable business, with the aim to add more value to our partners and continue to offer the best of food ordering experience to our customers. [source]

What’s your take on this ? Seems quite focused on the decision part (which is good) but stays away from addressing the core issues raised by employees? Seriously, is it written by the founder of the PR team?

TinyOwl Lays Off 112 Employees, Total Workforce Will Drop To 650

TinyOwl lays off 112 employees as a part of its restructuring intended to cut costs. This is the second round of layoffs after the company recently cut 200 jobs in September.

Chief Executive, Harshvardhan Mandad told ET that the latest layoffs will largely be in sales teams at Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune.

The company will have an employee count of 650, once the layoffs are formally completed—a big drop from the original 1,000 employees it had earlier this year.

“It was a tough decision; going forward, our operations will have to be more tech-oriented because margins are thin in the food business as compared to other online marketplaces,” said Mandad.

The company also added that it is currently testing a new operational structure in Mumbai and Bengaluru. Processing of orders, and delivery operations will be ‘more automated’, it said.


TinyOwl Raises Rs 50 crore From Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners

Company Name : TinyOwl
Funding Amount : Rs 50 crore
Investor(s) Sequoia Capital Matrix Partners. .
Funding Round : Not Disclosed

TinyOwl has raised Rs 50 crore from Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners. Other existing investors also participated in the round.

The funding will be used by the food ordering tech platform startup to build a sustainable business model as the two year old company has been restructuring its business operations.

The company plans to go app only in the future. [source]

TinyOwl Plans To Restructure And Cut Costs As Pressure From Investors Mounts

TinyOwl has undertaken another round of job cuts and frozen its plans to expand to new cities as the start-up is facing delays in securing its next round of funding.

Unidentified sources told Live Mint that pressure from existing investors is forcing TinyOwl to restructure itself and cut operational costs.

The company has already laid-off more than 100 employees in the business development team in August and is planning to enforce more job cuts, the source added.

The sources also said that talks for a fresh round of funding with potential investors are being delayed because of differences over valuation.

TinyOwl’s co-founder and CEO Harshvardhan Mandad denied that the company is enforcing a hiring freeze or is looking to lay off people. He added that the company has only frozen expansion plans.

“We are hiring senior-level people across departments. We are currently in six cities and have no plans to expand into newer cities in the next three to six months. We want to focus more on winning in the markets we are present in,” Mandad said. [Source]

The company has completely outsourced its delivery operations to partners such as Roadrunnr, Opinio and Shadowfax. This would help reduce costs by 50%, says Mandad. As a result, TinyOwl was forced to lay-off 80-100 employees.