Naspers-backed food delivery platform Swiggy is winding down its grocery and fresh produce marketplace, which it expanded during the nationwide lockdown, in a phased manner.
The marketplace business aggregated local Kirana stores from where users could get grocery, fresh produce, essential products and food items delivered through Swiggy’s delivery fleet.
Offered under its Swiggy Stores vertical, the startup is shutting down the business to focus on its hyperlocal delivery service Genie and grocery delivery platform Instamart, a person close to the development told TechCircle.
Swiggy Genie is present in 65 cities and is used by consumers for picking up grocery, essentials, meats, stationery and other necessities from nearby stores.
The company also has a slew of specialized services under its stores business such as meat and seafood, pet care, gourmet as well as Instamart, its 45-minute grocery delivery service, which will continue to function.
The Bengaluru-based company had scaled up its marketplace business to over 150 cities from just two after the Covid-19 induced lockdown kicked in.
“We expanded our services across the country during the lockdown as consumers turned to Swiggy not just for food but also other essentials. Given that movement restrictions have been eased, we are rolling back the grocery marketplace and focusing on offerings like Swiggy Genie where consumers can shop from any store in the city including groceries and essentials or pick-up and drop-off packages,” a Swiggy spokesperson said in an email response to TechCircle queries.
The development was first reported by digital news platform Entrackr.
The company also plans to expand Instamart to many more cities, said the person cited above.
Officially launched in Gurugram in August, the service was later expanded to Bengaluru. Instamart, which operates between 7 am and 12 am, claims to deliver products within 45 minutes of the order placement.
“With a delivery promise of 30 -45 minutes, Instamart is rapidly becoming a favourite among consumers (in Bangalore and Gurgaon) while unlocking a new dimension of convenience retailing in India” the company spokesperson said in response to TechCircle queries.
Zomato, which ventured into grocery delivery during the early days of the lockdown, shut down the vertical named Zomato Market in June.