Let’s begin with a couple of questions.
- Starting a new business/building a new product is great, but does the market need your business/product now?
- And if it does, can you build the product/deliver the service with least friction? In other words, is the ecosystem ready?
Most entrepreneurs starting something that doesn’t exist in the market don’t start like this. They go by the gut. They build products, and then seek customers. This is what we did at Streatu, and were lucky to pull it off.
Streatu is a street-food discovery and delivery app that’s been live in select localities of North Bangalore from the 16th of November 2021.
- Over the past 114 days, we have delivered over 7,500 orders, have a vendor base of 101, and over 2,700 active app users out of a 5,086 cohort.
- Of these, over 1200 customers have ordered more than once. 440 people have ordered more than four times on our app.
- Revenue stands at a little over 1 million rupees.
Bootstrapped, we started building in early 2021, and by November, we were ready to welcome our first customers. It’s been 4 months, and we’re now ready to go to other parts of Bangalore.
Expansion means funds, and funds for start-ups means VCs. Now, none of us at Streatu have ever raised money from a VC before. We began researching, and hit upon a brilliant podcast that featured Rajan Anandan.
In the podcast, Mr. Anandan explains what VCs look for in an early stage start-up such as Streatu. That’s when we discovered that there’s something called ‘why now’, which VCs use to judge an investment.
We asked the ‘why now’ question 2 months after deploying our product, thanks to the video above.
Let’s first divide Streatu’s ‘Why Now’ into two buckets: The vendor bucket, and the consumer bucket.
Creating trust is now easy thanks to digital payments and same-day settlement. And nearly every vendor on the street accepts UPI. Trust: Check!
4G internet and smartphones
4G internet is BIG and so is smartphone usage. Almost every young street-food vendor uses a smartphone. Connectivity: Check!
Hyper local delivery
Hyper local delivery is now a thing, across more than 500 Indian cities. Logistics: Check!
There’s simply no way you can discover great street-food around you, and order it with a few clicks of your smartphone. The vacant space for a platform that gives you access to high quality street-food: Check!
The need for affordable food
Social media is flooded with complaints on how consumers feel ripped off by price mark-ups when they order through existing food aggregator apps. The need for an affordable, high-quality alternative: Check!
Ordering food through an app is now a habit
Thanks to food aggregator apps who’ve built the ‘habit’, we needn’t spend billions convincing people to order food through an app. Adoption: Check!
So, this sums up ‘why now‘ from Streatu’s perspective.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg
There’s a vast segment of street commerce that has been excluded from the digital revolution, a revolution that can empower a massive sector worth a 100 billion dollars (or more?), create millions of jobs, distribute billions and improve living standards across the country.
We at Streatu have already made a beginning with street-food. The headroom to grow is immense.
Don’t take my word for it. Hear Capt [Retd] Raghu Raman out. I promise, it’ll be worth your time.