Zepto’s Teenager Founders Share How They Built An App With A $900M Valuation

Zepto, an instant grocery delivery startup founded by two teenagers, Kaivalya Vohra and Aadit Palicha, brought their company to a valuation of $900 million in just nine months.

Vohra had “a couple of long conversations” to convince his parents for him to drop out of Stanford for his startup. But pulling them on board wasn’t hard, he added, his parents witnessed how rapidly they grew the business in front of them.

In a recent interview with CNBC Make It, the young founders shared how did they build one of India’s fastest-growing quick commerce apps.

People didn’t take the 19-year-olds seriously due to their age and their “crazy” under-10-minute delivery idea. However, their conviction in their product kept them going and helped them convince investors, senior executives, and government authorities. Zepto’s $200 million in May got it closer to unicorn status.

“If we don’t build it, somebody else will. When you operate with that mentality, everything becomes less intimidating.” Palicha told CNBC. 

During the early stages of Zepto, Palicha and Vohra handled all of the company’s customer service inquiries to determine a clear product-market fit. They even brought goods to customers so that they could have a brief conversation and gain valuable insight from them. Palicha claims that they are still doing it in the present day.

Palicha and Vohra had been friends since they were seven. For Vohra, it’s their ability to “hold each other accountable” that brought them this far. 

“Kaivalya and I really complement each other’s skill set. He has always been more technically sound than I am, so he’s made a great chief technology officer,” said Palicha.