Exclusive: Swiggy piloting bulk-order service as diversification drive continues

Exclusive: Swiggy piloting bulk-order service as diversification drive continues
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
14 Mar, 2019

Weeks after entering the hyperlocal delivery space, food-tech unicorn Swiggy is pressing on with its rapid diversification by venturing into bulk-order services.

The food-delivery specialist is currently running pilots of the service -- christened Swiggy XL -- in select localities on its home turf of Bengaluru, two people familiar with the development told TechCircle.

Targeting house parties and corporate events, Swiggy is attempting to curate supply for larger orders on the platform. The beta version of the service is currently live in the form of a dedicated page which lists a handful of Swiggy’s partner restaurants that have adequate kitchen capabilities to manage large-scale orders.

The minimum order value for Swiggy XL is Rs 2,000 and the service promises three-hour delivery. 

“Swiggy was receiving a lot of inbound requests for large orders, which have been managed manually so far,” one of the people cited above said on the condition of anonymity. “The attempt is to remove the human layer to make it smoother and seamless. Swiggy hasn’t decided on a full-version launch yet as it is still evaluating feedback from restaurants and customers.”

A Swiggy spokesperson declined to comment.

Zomato, Swiggy’s main rival in the food-delivery segment, had last September acquired TongueStun, an online platform which aggregates caterers for enterprises.

According to a report in The Economic Times from October, Swiggy too had tested a feature named Swiggy Café that attempted to digitise corporate cafeterias. 

The pilot reportedly ran for about three months at a couple of corporate parks in Bengaluru. It allowed employees to order lunch from select cafeterias in these corporate parks via the Swiggy app. However, it’s unclear if the company is still pursuing this vertical.  

Run by Bengaluru-based Bundl Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Swiggy has been rapidly scaling up its operations on the back of a string of big-ticket fundraises over the past year.

In December, Swiggy raised $1 billion in a fresh round of funding led by South African technology conglomerate Naspers, marking one of the single-largest infusions into an Indian startup. The round valued Swiggy at more than $3 billion.

Swiggy’s other investors include Chinese conglomerate Tencent, Hillhouse Capital and Wellington Management Company, DST Global, Meituan Dianping and Coatue Management.

Last month, Swiggy announced plans to launch a new hyperlocal service that will offer home delivery of groceries and other daily essentials

Named Swiggy Stores, the service will provide items such as meat, pet supplies, flowers, health supplements from brick-and-mortar stores. The service, which is part of the Swiggy app, is currently accessible to users in Gurugram.

Swiggy Stores competes against established online grocery startups such as SoftBank-backed Grofers and Alibaba-backed BigBasket.

Swiggy’s food delivery services are currently available in more than 80 cities.

It primarily competes with Zomato besides Foodpanda and UberEats. 

Both Swiggy and Zomato posted net sales in the region of Rs 450 crore in the financial year 2017-18. For Swiggy, this was more than triple the number compared to the previous financial year as it caught up with Zomato.