Swiggy Acqui-Hires Gourmet Food Startup 48East


As Part Of The Deal, 48East Founders Joseph Cherian and Nabhojit Ghosh Will Join Swiggy’s New Supply Team

Bengaluru-based food ordering and delivery startup Swiggy has acqui-hired the management team of Bengaluru-based gourmet Asian food startup 48East in order to further broaden its senior leadership.

Following this acqui-hire, the company looks to serve its consumers more efficiently and consequently grow in the market. As per the terms of the deal, 48East founders Joseph Cherian and Nabhojit Ghosh will join the Swiggy team, with the former acting as the COO of Swiggy’s New Supply business line.

In his new role as the New Supply COO, Cherian’s expertise in the food infrastructure space will further strengthen Swiggy’s focus on solving for gaps in consumer supply through various strategic initiatives such as the recently-launched Swiggy Access.

Commenting on the development, Sriharsha Majety, co-founder, and CEO of Swiggy said, “With their deep understanding of the food space and an impressive track record of delivering a great consumer experience, the 48East team will equip Swiggy with additional capabilities. We are excited to work with them towards our vision of changing the way India eats.”

The development comes just a week after the foodtech startup hired Vishal Bhatia as the CEO of New Supply and former OLAM executive Rahul Bothra as its first ever Chief Financial Officer. Consequently, Cherian will assist Bhatia in building the vertical and Swiggy Access through 2018.

Swiggy Access, for the uninitiated, is an initiative aimed at reaching more customers and making its delivery more seamless. Geared towards facilitating the business expansion of partners on the platform, the new service allows restaurant partners to set up kitchen spaces in areas where they do not have a physical presence.

Swiggy: Making A Comeback After A Tumultuous Year

Swiggy currently has a presence in more than 10 cities across the country and claims to have tie-ups with around 20,000 restaurants in these cities. The Bengaluru-based startup has raised a total funding of $155.5 Mn (INR 1000 Cr) till date and clocks over 4 Mn transactions per month on its platform.

As per filings with the MCA, Swiggy reported a massive 6x leap in revenues from $3.6 Mn (INR 23.6 Cr) in FY16 to $20.6 Mn (INR 133 Cr) in the last fiscal year. However, losses have also increased by 50% to $31.7 Mn (INR 205 Cr) from  $21.3 Mn (INR 137.18 Cr) in FY16. One of the main reasons for the soaring losses has been the near 119% surge in expenses to $53.5 Mn (INR 345 Cr).

Earlier in November 2017, there were speculations that Indian ecommerce behemoth Flipkart was looking to invest around $50 Mn (INR 322 Cr) in the foodtech startup, in order to further accomplish its mission of building an one-stop mobile app. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is also reportedly gearing up for a $200 Mn-$250 Mn investment in Swiggy, along with Chinese investment firm Tencent.

Its biggest rival Zomato has also made a number of investments and acquisitions in the last couple of months. In the second of September, the foodtech unicorn took over Bengaluru-based Runnr, a B2B online service provider platform for hyperlocal logistics services. The move was aimed at strengthening Zomato’s food delivery capacity.

A week later, the Gurugram-based company also invested an undisclosed amount of funding in the Hyderabad-based foodtech startup, TinMen.

Since the food landscape in the country is expanding rapidly and numerous areas within the sector are still under-served, Swiggy has lately been exploring innovative ways to address this by providing solutions to enhance the availability, quality and convenience of food. By acqui-hiring 48East, the online food delivery platform is looking to bolster its presence in the market, amidst competition from highly funded players like UberEATS and Zomato.

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