India: Foodtech unicorn Zomato starts online grocery delivery services

Ant Financial-backed foodtech unicorn Zomato has forayed into online grocery delivery services as demand for home delivery of grocery has shot up significantly amid 21-day nationwide lockdown, which has been imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Zomato’s new initiative ‘Zomato Market’ will particularly help those seeking delivery of essential food items at their doorsteps.  The Gurugram-based company will offer its services in Kerala, Punjab and Delhi to start with.

“@ZomatoIN starts a platform for online grocery delivery in Kerala in association w/ SupplyCo. Operations in Kochi, Trivandrum, Kottayam & Thrissur aiming to “reach out to people under #lockdown &deliver essential commodities quickly in a safe&secure manner”. Good luck!,” Congress MP and lawyer Shashi Tharoor tweeted on Thursday.

Zomato is yet to give an official comment on the development.

With this, Zomato has followed the footsteps of its arch-rival Swiggy, which forayed into hyperlocal delivery last year. At a time, when Zomato continues to witness a steep fall in online food orders with deepening coronavirus crisis, the move to enter the grocery delivery segment will help it stay afloat. This is true for other food delivery companies as well, as the sentiment against eating out is forcing families to stay indoors and eat home-cooked food.

Meanwhile, top online grocers, including BigBasket and Grofers, have resumed delivery services in select parts of the country after a short-disruption in the earlier days of lockdown. However, they are struggling to keep up with a surge in demand.

Last week, BigBasket issued a statement saying that they will be restart their services in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Indore, Mumbai, Mysore, Noida, Surat, Vadodara. But, there will be delay in services for up to a week owing to high demand. Consumers have started to hoard basic necessities such as lentils, cereals, eggs, and rice as they fear closure of physical outlets amid escalating cases.

 

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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.