India: Foodpanda racing to weed out fake restaurants

Visual of Foodpanda.sg. September 2015

Foodpanda is working to weed out fake restaurants and those vendors on its network that were gaming the system and getting paid for orders that were never placed or delivered to customers.

The company is part of the Rocket Internet-owned brand that has a presence in 40 countries. A recent report highlighted lack of oversight in the top management of the company that resulted in the app taking orders from restaurants that either don’t exist or have closed down. A physical verification of the businesses would have resolved the problem but that was not done.

“It would be an anomaly to say our database is 100% clean now. We are 99% clean,” said Saurabh Kochhar, CEO of FoodPanda, in a Economic Times report. Kochhar had joined the company after its acquisition of TastyKhana in November last year and was appointed CEO in March. Rohit Chaddha, who was heading the company before that, resigned in August.

Kochhar said that Foodpanda is removing 500-1000 restaurants every month to clean up its roster. Taking orders from fake restaurants meant that the company was paying for food that was never delivered or was offering select customers, who knew that the restaurant was closed, a different choice of restaurant for free. “There is always 1% of vendors, sellers, restaurants and drivers in e-commerce industry who try and game the system,” Kocchar was quoted as saying in the report.

Unlike Zomato, which has managed to tackle the issue by providing iPads to restaurants that get an order through its app, Foodpanda woke up late to the issue. It has now got systems in place to detect IP addresses and locations of restaurants on its network. It has got enough funding — $310 million — to be able to deal with the losses.

Foodpanda’s competition in the space has heated up with a host of apps such Zomato’s Order, TinyOwlSwiggy and Dazo, all of which raised venture capital funding and are competing in India’s $10-billion food delivery market.

 

Also read:

Foodpanda completes acquisition of Singapore-Dine

Foodpanda raises $100m more led by Goldman Sachs

FoodPanda acquisitions are part of the larger Rocket Internet narrative

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.