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


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.]

Comments (53)

  1. IIT grads can never go wrong, that was probably the thesis for investors to rather invest millions on any idea coming from IIT graduates. Just look at the metrics of investment between ITT/IIM and Non IIT/IIM founders and the scale tilts towards IIT/IIM group more. I hope these guys return the investment to investors in the near future.

  2. Few things came in my mind and wish to share..

    -the tinyowl still is in gestation period..give sometime and then assess their worth ..

    – the cash reserves would help them to grow for sure.unlike ola,uber ,flipkart or snap deal or mighty Amazon..they have minimal cash burn.

    – the competition is stiff and the consistent performer who stays longer wins in this business.. Spending wisely and slowly actually results in running long and getting returns…

    – IIT /IIM grads get perks mostly because of not just their ideas or ability but because of their clout readiness..they don’t need to sweat profusely to see a door open .. ( men like me run day night with ideas n products and even for minute tech know how to launch a startup.. 🙂 no complaints, few are born lucky, we make ourselves better with time)

    – the VCs are limited in number and they demands lions share… It’s time for wealthy men/ women to realize , VCs are not aliens but someone like them who opened up the purse instead of zipping them..(image the potential number of net worthy people in India alone who stacks cash in lockers ,make our life easy guys..open up 🙂 )

    – imitation won’t lasts if not done in better way..

    Finally to all entreprenuers to be…. Kick ur selves bros/sis …don’t waste time reading my rants… Work out well on your plans and make it big soon…all the best


  3. Parijat
  4. Parijat

    Nothing to “grow balls” about no? 🙂

    Rishi Navani from Matrix and Gautam Mago from Sequoia are on the board of TinyOwl. You can always check this stuff out at https://www.tofler.in/companies/U72900MH2014PTC255354 🙂

  5. Rishi

    The NBW team published the names of all founders, but what about the names of board of directors and board observers from respective funds in Tinyowl.

    Grow some balls, Ashish and his team.
    You can only name the young founders and when it comes to naming the VCs partners, you play a different tone.

  6. Ramjee

    Yes, but the problem is this revenue has to be collected from restaurants. It is very difficult to collect the money from the restaurants. I am not surprised they did not end up collecting any revenue.

  7. Rapid hiring and firing while operations are running is loss has become a common phenomenon among startups.

    After getting funds, major focus should be towards sustainability, revenue generation and scalability rather than unplanned expansion.

    Here is one analysis explaining this rapid hiring and firing culture and possible solutions.


  8. Laxman Singh

    its really surprising the date revealing By Tinyowl team that how much the VC fund are burning just because of fund are using By IIT/IIM student..

    More People also in Queue for VC Fund.

  9. We shouldn’t generalize about any institution . It just shows that you are jealous. Some of us are doing something which is profitable as well as scalable.
    Click to know more http://www.breadnpulp.com

  10. Gaurav singh

    Well explained data…….there is no point to invest a huge amount in any firms just because that has been started by any iitian
    Apart from everything it take time to earn profit in the same year or even after one or 2 year…..25cr loss doesn’t mean that Tinyowl’s will be no longer in between us…….
    There are so many companies amazon, snapdeal etc couldn’t make profit after 5 years…..
    M working with jabong…… Even after 2-3 years they are continously in loss…even they have a good business model and inventory module….. So what’s the funda?
    Why are these companies are not able to earn profit?
    Same answer will comes in every mind…. And we all knw the damn answers….

  11. Shivam

    It may b total profit – net..

  12. Ram

    Any idea about the source of these numbers please? These are shocking numbers for any business…

  13. mrunmay phanse

    I am agree with you. startups needs to figure out resources available in the market and try to improve not always waste money. Having 400+ employees and just 10,000 restaurants is a weird thing. they should work on getting more and more restaurants and people on their platform rather than giving daily app updates.

  14. Nikunj Tanna

    That is valuable information. These ITT guys burns more cash then getting revenue. If we look at the details of investments given, around 100 crores has been funded by Nexus, Sequioa and matrix and they showed revenue of 44 Lacs from FD of investment, even if we calculate the interest by 10%, they currently have 4.4 crores left. I read another articles about tinyowl in other websites. They have staff of 400 people. 40 in technology(To develop app!!), 15 for app design and 50(Yes, it is 50!) just for glorifying and making restaurant menus more attractive. Start up in not about the idea and funding, there needs to be vision. It is childish to hire 40 people to make an app.

  15. Sachin

    “Getting Investment in india is only about investment ” – read is as – “Getting Investment in india is only about networking”

  16. Sachin

    IIT/IIM folks do start and get investement no matter how stupid the idea is or how idiotic their business sense is just because all big VC and so called startups(read as flipkat/snapdeal) have their seniors as CEO/VC Partner. Getting Investment in india is only about investment and nothing else, so channel is wide open for them as they both (VC/Angle) have a common connection. Rest be sure that biggest business from scratch in India (reliance) was build by an 10th class pass.

  17. Great initiative Ashish & Team

    Do read this post from one of the founders of BaseCamp.

  18. Nice insight of what is going on inside the TinyOwl.
    Here is one more article comprehensively written to discuss “Why” of Tinyowl Crisis.
    Pl check it here – http://www.fuckedupstartups.com/fs-analyser/tinyowl-firing-saga-lessons-for-small-startups/

  19. Abhay

    I am not too surprised having spent a few months with this startup. Funds such as Sequoia deserves these failures. They have over invested in IIT led companies and encouraged them to ‘burn’ cash and create threat to competitors by raising large rounds of capital. In the case here, the round declared vs raised was a lie. You guys need to visit the Supreme Park Powai office of TinyOwl to understand what giving ridiculous money to 22 year old guys mean. Its one of the most extravagant offices I have seen. Why does a startup need such premium offices where rentals are 25 lac + a month! Not especially at this stage. Coming back to what I learnt during my stint here – they would pick the menu of the restaurant on zomato and publish it on it’s app without the restaurant even knowing what TInyOwl is. When orders come in, TinyOwl or our 3PL vendors would go pickup the order just like anyone of you would had it been a take away order. They did this for months. Goal was to create volumea first and then go back to the restaurant with proof of business that we brought u so much business so please shell some commission now. They paid all it’s staff too very well. I got a 40% hike over my last job.

    Next startup I would like NextBigWhat to cover would be Roadrunnr – another Sequoia fund. Same story so far. They are spending a lot of money on everything especially on PR. Burning around 10 crores a month. Me and my pal from TO interviewed here. I choose another offer my friend joined here and having burnt almost all of ₹70 crores in 9 months and not able to raise next round is causing many people to quit.

  20. Navneet

    Margins are also lesser in range of 8_12% not 15%

  21. Sahil

    Yes, 7.5 crores annual revenue. Then we have to think about expenditure. Coupons / Freebies, Advertising, Delivery boys, Call center, Swanky office, etc.,

  22. Abhishek


  23. Shivank

    Well you should take the criticism in constructive way.. Shows the amateur attitude.. If were mature, the success rate could be higher..

  24. Shivank

    Well you should take the criticism in constructive way.. Shows the amateur attitude.. If were mature, the success rate could be higher..

  25. Deepak Singh

    No tiny owl is setting up market… They r doing free delivery for the hotels and restaurants…. For promotion….and to have as many as data and contact

  26. ishani

    glad that nextbigwhat team is posting some sensible articles and not going emotional over people they know. Would request you to also look at numbers of housing as well as zomato.. they will be failures of the decade!

  27. Mihir

    I have just read all your negative comments on TinyOwl (and Start Ups in general), on the backdrop of the lay off news they were in some days back.

    I have worked with TinyOwl previously. There is nothing wrong with their Business Model. The only thing is they need to do some minor changes in their App regarding their Menu Offerings
    (they need to specialise and shorten it). Also, in their 1st Year, they needed to invest in many business aspects, and their Revenue Model has just begin from March 2015, until then they were just putting their Business in place (and mind that they have done it pretty quickly).

    In my opinion, they have done the right thing by winning Mumbai and Bangalore in their 1st year of operations, these are the most difficult markets to acquire, rest all can be acquired with time, need not speed on that like Delhi, Pune etc. TinyOwl still is the Leader in Mumbai and Bangalore so much so that tough competitors like Faasos, Swiggy, FoodPanda and Zomato have not even touched where TinyOwl started. Hence, i genuinely feel TinyOwl has done the right thing by shutting operations across but for Mumbai and Bangalore. This will lower their costs by huge margin. Hence, i personally have seen all the co-founders working solidly for TinyOwl, i have full faith in them, just that they need some support and guidance from its investors and well wishers.

  28. Suresh

    Atleast hese IIT /IIM Guys dared to something different….. just sitting back and commenting is disgraceful

  29. Vijay

    1) Ppl believe an Idea and money to Implement it is enough to start a business. Unless and until u possess domain knowledge u will not be a success.
    2) Interest on fixed deposit?? Does this mean they do not know how to use funds??? Interst gained on fixed deposit is interest lost by the investor who sourced funds. So there is no profit no loss on this.
    Silly Fellas

  30. Puneet

    Seems like someone couldn’t crack their engineering exams LOL. Everyone fails, but IIT/IIM folks at least try unlike good-for-nothing commentators

  31. Puneet

    Your math is incorrect, it should be ~7.5cr.

  32. Neerja

    An order a day? Or no commission charged? Still doesn’t make sense.

  33. Suhas

    This is FY15 data so investors who invested money in Mar-15 must be well aware of these nos. or else they wouldn’t have invested ~60cr

    7000 (orders per day) x 200 (avg order val) x 15% (Margin)
    = 2.1L revenue per day (if they start monetizing)
    around 75Cr potential revenue on burn of 24cr

  34. New age VCs invest on scale and the idea behind is to scale & sell it to the next fool smile emoticon In the end exit with an IPO and let all shareholders be fooled finally while they all laugh their way to the bank on the huge valuations and 100X returns what they got over a stupid idea which they scaled, this is like an MLM – just sell grow sell grow sell grow make a large IPO and go bust – its well thought upon – Dot com bust was about eyeballs, B2C Earthquake when it happens will be about the investor balls wink emoticon #punintended

  35. bond...jamesbond

    not really dude, tinowl is infact a boon to other startups, If they crash and burn, who are investors gonna look at. Bootstrappers because they dont burn cash. VCs will now turn to be more prudent.

  36. bond...jamesbond

    Agreed bro. Amazon, twitter, Instagram, Ebay etc., never made profits even after 5 years of operation. Typical Crab mentality of people, Just because we cant succeed, lets piss on some one who is trying to succeed.

  37. Kunal Srivastava

    Thats equivalent to 1 order per five days!

  38. masteryoda

    I do not understand INR 24,000 revenue in an entire year. Even if they serve 100 orders a day for 150 each the number translated into something a lot bigger.

  39. Sachin

    VCs never go under the bus. They must be investigated on how they have unlimited source of money and their CEOs never get fired for bad decision. Surely, their source of funds is dodgy. They seem to have no pressure.

    I have never read a VCs firing its CEO or downsizing…Why are they cool with funding day in and say out…

  40. Sachin

    Once you fail in India….you go under the radar. In India if you mention you failed and it comes up in the paper. Its hard to get a new Bakra aka VC for funding, or get a new job or a wife for marriage Plus you cannot control your Kids when they grow up and find out, you were a failure and have to settle for a 9 to 5 job.

    Its better to keep quiet and quietly escape from the Patli galli 🙂

  41. Dinesh jain

    Muft ka chandan ghis mere nandan…is appropriate for all these startups who are burning cash.Providing freebees,discounts can give some business for short time..but all businesses need earning for long term survival.The investors should be cautious to see that their money must be utilize to develop basic setup of business,not to provide these freebees.Otherwise shortly this boom will over.

  42. Sachin

    Just because you are from IIT/IIM does not mean you can break the 90% failure rate sealing. All successful Indian tech startups from Naukri, Shaadi, Redbus, freecharge were Non-IIT..FACT

    IIT/IIM startups have 90% failure rate compared to others. I don’t understand why VCs blindly invest on IIT/IIM startup. Now, that we have data, the failure rate among IITs is far more higher it seems lol…

  43. Mohit

    Hi I couldn’t agree with you more. These guys are only good at product development and they lack business acumen big time. I mean if you keep selling products below ur cost price naturally they will sell and your GMV’s will increase. Ask any of these founders if they have a roadmap of being profitable 99% of them don’t have it.

    Businesses in order to be sustainable in the long run should be profitable in a reasonable time frame or else they will eventually go belly up.

  44. 123

    Sure it does, you just expect it to make a ton of cash bcos of their extensive advertising, apps and shit. Reality is that they were just given cash to burn and that’s what they did, with nothing to show for their venture.

  45. Harsh

    If 99.95%of your revenue is not from Operations but from Interest income it signifies inefficient use of capital

    My 2 cents

  46. Rs

    Abbe to interest kamaane mein inhone kya kiya?? Are you commending their effort to make a Fixed Deposit? Your 2 cents make you sound like one of the founders themselves 😀

  47. Gaurav Jain

    Most of the startups are run by techies. They can be very good technologists, but not great business mans. They are twisting the basics of building a profitable business, which is eventually leading them to unknown territories. They are being played in hands of VCs who actually just want to make an exit on hypervalued startup one day.

    I bet 90% of these will fail, as “giving away free/ Subsidizing” cant be long term strategy. They have to have strength in their product and business idea, Idea should be scalable, should have pull from consumers, which many of the ideas dont actually have.

    The doom is imminent!

  48. BHS

    Remember it is a tough game and the young lads took it up.
    Guys give some time to these young folks and support them.
    44 Lakhs interest earned on the funds is quite impressive and proves that the founders are not playing a fool with OPM.


  49. Neerja

    Rs.24000 Revenue? That doesn’t make sense.

  50. Does any of the founder understand delivery business, have they tried learning/doing deliveries themselves?

    Only using fancy keywords and metrics while running a startup is making misery to the ones really working hard and are bootstrapped.

  51. I dnt know what they have been doing all this year and made just 24000 INR as revenue that means only burning investors money to see 7000 transactions a day ? I am quite sure this 7000 is also inflated number and is some thing like a fraud number game like what Foodpanda did by making robot restaurants where hypothetical orders come and delivery is done to show investors only.

    All these people have no or little knowledge of doing real business and striving for investors funds all time 🙂

  52. Need of the hour!! I always have wondered many times what happens to all the startups. Last three years about 500,000 or more have started up throughout India but there is no cohesive data about their performance vis a vis from the date started up as well as how many still existing and how many of them have shut up shop.

    This is a lot of experience learning gone waste, there are so many similar kind of start ups and more starting up on the same or bit different as well but no single base of knowledge share is possible.

  53. Awesome stuff Ashish and team. This helps bring out the reality of how these funded startups are run. Most of these seem to be a hogwash and this really helps exposing the actual revenues and growth of these so called ‘major’ startups!

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