Flipkart, which has become India’s largest e-commerce startup, may reportedly invest in the Bengaluru based food delivery startup, Swiggy. According to a report by The Ken, Flipkart along with Chinese venture capital firm Tencent may invest $ 50 million each in the online food delivery platform. The companies have reportedly been in talks for over a month and are planning to close this $ 100 million deal soon. However, there has been no official confirmation regarding this development.
This news comes at a time when media reports suggest Flipkart initiated investment talks with a bunch of vertical e-commerce startups. Backed by Japan-based SoftBank, Flipkart recently received an investment of $ 4 billion, giving the company the chance to broaden its scope of services and offerings. The firm recently also launched the grocery delivery service, Supermart, in Bengaluru to compete against its global rival Amazon. Flipkart also announced in June, they plan to roll out a one-stop mobile app to order food, hail a cab, plan a vacation, or buy daily essentials.
Earlier this month, Swiggy was reportedly in talks with food tech unicorn Zomato for a possible merger. However, Swiggy denied all allegations while sources said the talks were closed due to differences in valuations and business alignments. Since it’s launch in 2014, Swiggy raised close to $ 154.67 million so far and was valued at $ 400 million during its last funding round. The startup was able to compete against food tech behemoths of that time like Zomato and Foodpanda. Swiggy also claims to complete 400 million orders per month with a total of 78,417 daily orders as of January 2017. With over 20,000 partners, the company also launched its central kitchen programme, Swiggy Access, to allow its restaurant partners to set up kitchen spaces in neighborhoods where they currently do not operate.
An investor close to the development told The Ken, “Flipkart has kapda (clothes with Myntra,) now roti (food with Swiggy,) all it needs is makaan (house) and it will complete the three basic necessities in one app.” The report further added the Flipkart investment will explore synergies to leverage Swiggy’s hyperlocal delivery fleet for Supermart as well.
The entry of global players like UberEATS and Google Aero has made the food delivery industry highly competitive. This potential investment from Flipkart could help Swiggy gain an upper hand to leverage unicorn growth with investors like Tencent on board. Swiggy’s decision might be the tipping point for the $ 2.9 billion online food and services market.