Online food delivery unicorn Zomato has extended its gold membership plan in ten markets, including India and Australia, for two months to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Gurugram headquartered company said that it is also facilitating working capital loans for its partner restaurants through fintech partners to tide over business losses, Deepender Goyal, founder of Zomato said in a tweet.
The Zomato Gold membership programme gives users perks such as complimentary food and drinks on select orders.
Here are some initiatives we are taking to help our users, restaurant partners, and delivery partners in these times –— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) March 25, 2020
Zomato has also set up a fund for its delivery staff to protect its employees from loss of income. Several Zomato employees have reportedly taken deep voluntary pay cuts to support the company, Goyal tweeted.
We are also starting a fund to cover up the lost earnings for thousands of our delivery partners. We also hope that we get government support to help us with this. More on this soon. [7/n]— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) March 25, 2020
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to decelerate the spread of Covid-19 disease. Online delivery services across segments have taken a hit due to supply shortage and precautionary actions from local authorities and police forces in the wake of a nationwide lockdown.
Zomato is working with the authorities to resolve the mobility issues on the ground level to maintain the essential goods and services supply running, Goyal said.
Major players including Swiggy, Zomato and Freshmenu faced a drop in gross merchandise value by about 20% in the first fortnight of March. According to consulting firm RedSeer, food delivery startups are functioning at around 30% capacity.
The pandemic has hit several sectors in the startup space but a few firms have kept services running. Agri-marketing platform Ninjacart announced today that it will deliver essential supplies to apartments. Online grocery delivery services BigBasket and Grofers have restarted deliveries in select cities.