The Indian foodtech industry is bubbling over with investments and increasing customer dependency on food delivered anytime, anywhere. Swiggy, a major foodtech player, has joined the Unicorn club, it’s rival Zomato is going all out to outdo Swiggy, and cab aggregators like Ola and Uber have entered the segment — Ola has integrated with FoodPanda and Uber has its own food delivery service Uber Eats.
In a bid to remain ahead in the game, Swiggy, in line with its expansion and growth strategy, is reportedly experimenting with the business-to-business (B2B) segment.
It has launched a pilot programme for B2B food aggregation — an offering loosely called Swiggy Café or Swiggy Food Court that digitises corporate cafeterias.
At present, the pilot service, which started three months ago, is being tested at two corporate parks in Bengaluru, including one that houses Swiggy’s headquarters.
Swiggy Café/Food Court allows corporate employees to use an app to order lunch from select cafeterias in corporate hubs. It works with vendors to map the flow of incoming orders and intimates customers when their order is ready, thus cutting waiting queues and making the order flow more manageable.
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Reports cited people aware of the development as saying: “This is currently being run as an experiment for Swiggy, which is looking to use this offering mainly as a customer acquisition channel for its larger (business-to-consumer) delivery business, and also to create stickiness. Swiggy Café is likely to be continued as a pilot for some more time to assess the impact of the experiment before Swiggy decides on whether it would like to scale this further or not.”
An email query sent to Swiggy by Inc42 hadn’t elicited any response till the time of publication of this report.
At present, the service, which is not being monetised yet, handles a few hundred orders every day.
In contrast, Swiggy’s customer-facing food-delivery service clocks more than 20 Mn orders a month or over 650K orders a day on average.
Here’s a quick update on what’s happening at Swiggy:
- Swiggy has a network of 40,000 restaurant partners spread across 17 cities
- It has launched a slew of new initiatives including Access, long-distance deliveries, and Capital Assist
- It launched Super gives users unlimited free deliveries across all restaurants, irrespective of the distance or time of day
- The company is planning to foray into the hyperlocal vertical with a campaign called Dash, particularly in the medicine and grocery categories
- Swiggy’s ‘Scheduled’ feature enables users to plan and order their meals for lunch, dinner, breakfast, or party menus in advance
- It acquired on-demand delivery platform Scootsy, which will continue to operate as an independent app post the acquisition
- Swiggy also secured $210 Mn in a Series G funding led by existing investor Naspers and new investor DST Global
Swiggy’s bet on the B2B segment is a testament to the increasing interest in India’s B2B food-aggregation space. There are other B2B foodtech startups as well, like HungerBox, which recently raised $2.5 Mn and is serving more than 110 digital cafeterias.
We also have Bengaluru-based food tech startup SmartQ, which offers the capability to transform any conventional cafeteria into one that is completely digital and cashless.
According to reports, spending on food and business in the B2B space alone is estimated to reach $14 Bn in India in 2018 with the sector growing at ~15% per annum.
Swiggy made one of the fastest entries into the unicorn club earlier this year. Now, as it looks to bet on a new segment along with continuing its efforts to bring newer options to its customers, the company is set to build on its success story.
[The development was reported by ET.]