Lightbox Exits Dunzo Board Amid Financial Struggles

Lightbox, a major investor in the financially troubled hyperlocal delivery platform Dunzo, has relinquished its board seat, according to sources informed by Moneycontrol. Holding an 11.1 percent stake, Lightbox ranks as Dunzo’s third-largest shareholder after Reliance Retail (25.8 percent) and Google India (19.3 percent). This move leaves Dunzo without any representation from its primary investors on the board.

The board exodus began in 2023, with representatives from Reliance Retail and Lightrock stepping down between August and October. Simultaneously, Dunzo co-founders Dalvir Suri and Mukund Jha vacated their board positions and exited the company. These departures occurred during a tumultuous period for Dunzo, which has struggled to maintain operations amid financial woes.

Since April 2023, Dunzo has defaulted on salary payments, missed vendor deadlines, and faced legal actions from stakeholders. This turmoil eroded confidence among its board members.

At its peak in mid-2022, Dunzo’s board comprised eight members. Following recent exits, only two remain: co-founder and CEO Kabeer Biswas and Hongjim Kim from STIC Investments, according to filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

Siddharth Talwar, who represented Lightbox on Dunzo’s board, departed from the venture capital fund in August 2023. Lightbox has since opted not to nominate a replacement. Both Lightbox and Dunzo declined to comment on the matter.

Dunzo’s challenges intensify as competitors like Blinkit, Swiggy Instamart, and Zepto gain traction, challenging larger e-commerce players like Amazon and Flipkart.

The quick commerce sector has evolved from a convenience to a critical service within a few years, attracting interest from new entrants like Uber, further crowding the market.

Dunzo is seeking to raise $25-30 million from a consortium of investors. Although initial talks seemed to falter, media reports indicate ongoing efforts to secure funding.

In a May 19 email to former colleagues, CEO Biswas mentioned “steady progress” in a transaction aimed at addressing the company’s liabilities. He noted that the process was approximately 75 percent complete, with expectations to finalize it shortly.

However, Dunzo has previously missed several such deadlines, leading to frustration among former employees. Biswas apologized for the delays, expressing optimism about the current situation.

Founded in 2014, Dunzo has raised nearly $500 million from investors including Reliance Retail, Google India, Lightrock, Lightbox, and Blume Ventures, as per private markets information provider Tracxn.

Disclaimer: This information is covered based on the latest research and development available. However, it may not fully reflect all current aspects of the subject matter.

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