Meituan-backed Indian food delivery unicorn Swiggy launches on-demand delivery service

Swiggy and other food delivery companies got into trouble last month as 25,000 restaurants logged out of their platforms.

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Online food ordering and delivery company Swiggy said Wednesday it has launched a new vertical Swiggy Go, an instant intra-city courier service to send small packages, such as laundry, forgotten items, lunch boxes, and documents.

Swiggy CEO and co-founder Sriharsha Majety said, the last-mile delivery service, to begin with, will be available in Bengaluru and “by 2020, we will expand Swiggy Go to over 300 cities.”

In addition to this, the Bengaluru-based company also announced a “phased roll-out” of its on-demand grocery delivery service ‘Swiggy Stores’ for consumers in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Users can order their daily necessities such as fruits and vegetables, meat, medicines, packaged products from mom-and-pop stores as well as supermarkets.

Swiggy claims to have over 200,000 delivery executives who work on a contract basis with the company. It has been long planning to utilize this fleet in a more effective way as they are relatively free during the lull period of the day—the time in between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Swiggy has been running Swiggy Stores in the pilot mode for the last six months in Gurugram—a satellite city near India’s capital New Delhi—before launching it in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

Swiggy said it has partnered with over 300 merchants—multi-retail chains as well as small stores—in Bengaluru. While in Hyderabad, where the grocery delivery service will be available in the next two weeks, it has on-boarded over 200 merchants.

“Swiggy’s vision is to elevate the quality of life of urban consumers by offering unparalleled convenience. After enabling this with food delivery for five years and stores across the city with Swiggy Stores, Go will open the Swiggy delivery superpower to all consumers in the city,” Majety said in a statement.

Swiggy Go and Swiggy Store services will be available on the food ordering Swiggy app.

With the recent launch and expansion plan it has put a stop to the rumours of it expanding from doing just food delivery and getting into on-demand delivery, thus directly competing with an already established player Dunzo.

Bengaluru-based Dunzo that is Google’s first direct investment in India, is also in an aggressive expansion mode. Just last month, it raised a total of USD 4.8 million in two tranches to expand its footprint to 20 new cities from the current eight cities. It’s in talks with investors to further raise USD 100 million by the end of 2020.

Swiggy’s announcement to get into new verticals comes weeks after National Restaurant Association of India expressed its unhappiness with all Food Aggregator Service (FAS) providers over their steep discount policy, and urged restaurateurs to “logout” from all FAS platforms including Zomato, Swiggy, UberEats, EazyDiner, Magicpin, among others.