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Apr, 26 2018

Swiggy May Add medicines, groceries to Delivery List

Swiggy leads the country’s online food-delivery business, handling over 7 million orders every month from around 35,000 restaurants listed on its platform in India.

Online food-ordering and delivery company Swiggy is planning to add medicines and hyperlocal groceries into its delivery menu to boost volume on its eponymous platform, three people aware of the development said.

“While several categories have been discussed, they may start with medicines and then move on to groceries,” one of the persons cited earlier said, adding that the Bengaluru-based company is aiming at improving cost optimisation and utilisation of its over-30,000-strong workforce during the lean hours, especially between 2 pm and 6 pm, through this diversification. “They plan to name this service ‘Dash’.” The Naspers-backed company will kickstart pilot operations for some of the new categories in the next few months, the person said.

Without sharing the details of the new development, a spokesperson for the company said, “At Swiggy, we’re continuously experimenting with ways in which we can enrich the lives of our consumers and partners by making it more convenient and hassle-free."

The development comes even as Swiggy is in talks to raise over $200 million from DST Global and hedge fund Coatue Management in a round that will see its valuation cross the $1-billion mark.

As per industry estimates, Swiggy leads the country’s online food-delivery business, handling over 7 million orders every month from around 35,000 restaurants listed on its platform in India. Last month, rival company Zomato claimed that it crossed the 5.5-million order mark across both India and the UAE markets.

The company’s plans to diversify its delivery offering and build a unified delivery platform comes even as Chinese investors in the market, including Meituan-Dianping, Didi Chuxing, and Alibaba (through its payment affiliate Ant Financial), which have backed Swiggy, Ola and Zomato, respectively, have been increasingly focusing on pushing up volumes as they look to recreate China’s on-demand delivery success story in India.

Swiggy’s strategy is clear from its investor Meituan-Dianping's China business model, which offers deliveries and services across a host of categories, including groceries, beauty salon, payments and ride-hailing, even as food remains its highest-frequency delivery category by volume and value. While food delivery is a burgeoning market in China, pegged at $37 billion, most key players including Alibaba-backed Ele.me and Tencent-backed Meituan offers diversified delivery offerings, with food being the main driver.

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