On day 58 of the lockdown, two Bengaluru-based bike rental platforms VOGO and Bounce announced their rollback of operations in the city.
On-demand scooter and bike rental service provider VOGO said that the startup will home deliver sanitised bikes to those who are unable to pick up them from the docking stations. VOGO is going to open 50 additional docking stations in the city.
VOGO has also increased the rental duration of the two-wheelers to ensure that the vehicle stays with a customer for a longer duration. The startup is also distributing sanitisation kits to their customers which includes hand sanitisers, gloves, and chemical solutions.
Meanwhile, dockless scooter sharing platform Bounce has also resumed its services in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Bounce has also started a flexible long-term rental and subscription options named Bounce-A (Atmanirbhar). Currently, Bounce has only rolled out a few hundred vehicles as it plans to introduce more scooters on the street in a batch-wise manner.
Alcohol Home Delivery Through Apps Is Here
Food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy have now started delivering liquor in Jharkhand. Swiggy says that it has started the delivery of alcohol in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi while it plans to go live in other major cities soon.
Consumers can place their orders through the ‘Wine Shops’ category on the updated Swiggy app. While Zomato also confirmed the addition, the company is yet to roll out an update to facilitate liquor delivery. Both are planning to launch liquor delivery in more cites across Jharkhand within the next few days.
Zomato and Swiggy are also in talks with other state governments seeking their support with online processing and home delivery of alcohol.
Amazon Is Zomato, Swiggy’s New Rival
After months of pilot testing, ecommerce giant Amazon is now live with its food delivery service Amazon Food to foray in the segment dominated by Zomato and Swiggy. Amazon has launched the food delivery business in select areas in Bengaluru like Bellandur, Haralur, Marathalli and Whitefield.
The network is expected to expand to other cities, with higher density in a few weeks. Amazon has been working on the platform since the middle of 2019. Earlier, Amazon was looking to launch around Diwali, but later it was postponed to December and now to early 2020.
EazyDiner To Monitor Restaurant Hygiene
Restaurant table booking platform EazyDiner has launched Safe+ dining, a safety programme which aims to drive out the fear of contracting Covid-19 while dining out.
As part of the programme, EazyDiner will be monitoring hygiene and safety standards of the restaurants before listing them under Safe+ category on the mobile application and online platform. The company said that the company will be reviewing restaurants via periodic visits.
As of now, consumers will be able to take away their food from the restaurants. EazyDiner will take a 5% commission on all the takeaway orders from Safe+ select restaurants.
Mandatory Health Insurance Adds To Burden On Startups
The Indian government has made it mandatory for companies to provide medical insurance to workers while operating in the lockdown, as per home ministry directives last month.
However, there is a lack of clarity in terms of how businesses should avail medical insurance for their employees and to what extent they need to mandatorily cover employees. Insurance tech startup founders, as well as corporate wellness management startups, told Inc42 that the government has not specified if the employer has to offer Covid-19-related insurance or comprehensive health plans that are often very expensive.
Further, as premiums for renewal become more exorbitant in the post-Covid world, businesses have to balance cost-cutting with the increased expense of buying group insurance.