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Zomato, a global online restaurant listing and reviews company which recently ventured into the food ordering and table reservation space, has made strategic investments in Gurgaon-based Pickingo and Mumbai-based Grab — both hyperlocal delivery startups — to enable last-mile delivery for restaurants, including dine-in-only restaurants.

Details of the transactions remain undisclosed.

Partnerships with the two leading VC-funded startups will give Gurgaon-based Zomato an edge over its rivals including food ordering majors foodpanda and Just Eat.

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“We have unequivocally the largest restaurant base in India and we will work closely with Pickingo, Grab and Delhivery to improve the last-mile delivery experience for users placing orders online on Zomato. So far, restaurants have been delivering on their own but with this partnership, we will be able to target restaurants across the country that don’t otherwise deliver,” said Deepinder Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato.

Know the startups

Pickingo, founded in December 2014, is a horizontal on-demand logistics company that manages deliveries for local merchants, who are increasingly moving their offline businesses online through its mobile app equipped riders. It also works with aggregators and marketplaces to manage their hyperlocal deliveries and returns.

The company currently operates a fleet of over 700 field executives across six cities in India. It has so far raised US$1.3 million in funding.

Grab (formerly Grab a Grub) is a provider of B2B hyperlocal logistics service that enables merchants to deliver products to its consumers within minutes. Its platform is used by clients encompassing restaurants, groceries, laundry services, pharmacies and e-commerce deliveries.

Over the past two years, Grab has delivered more than 800,000 orders with a presence in seven cities comprising a rider strength of 1,000-plus across 440 merchants and above. The startup has raised US$1 million in funding till date.

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Pratish Sanghvi, Co-Founder and Director, Grab said, “Last-mile logistics is a challenge for most merchants across India, especially restaurants and we view this investment as a great opportunity to solve this problem using technology along with Zomato. We have already rolled this out with Zomato in Mumbai and will extend to other cities in the next couple of weeks.”

Partnership with Delhivery

Zomato has also announced a partnership with Delhivery, a leading logistics startup that provides supply chain solutions to online and offline retailers.

Delhivery is a fast-growing e-commerce enablement company. It aims to enable e-commerce through best-in-class industry solutions, domain expertise and pan-India operations. The startup offers extensive services ranging from last-mile deliveries, third-party fulfilment, warehousing services and software solutions such as channel integration software for sellers selling across multiple platforms.

Goyal added that Zomato is also launching its online ordering service in Dubai, Australia and South Africa later this month. “Along similar lines, we are in conversation with hyperlocal logistics firms in other countries to ensure that we are able to provide a seamless and quality experience to our users there,” he said.

Founded in 2008, Zomato recently expanded its offering to include in-app cashless payments, online ordering, table reservations and a point of sale system to help connect restaurant businesses and customers. Its core features include restaurant information such as scanned menus and photos, sourced by its feet-on-street team across cities it is present in globally. Users can review restaurants, as well as create their own network of foodies for trusted recommendations.

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Since July 2014, the startup has acquired nine companies to further extend its global reach in the restaurant search space. These include Urbanspoon, which gave the restaurant listing major a dominant position in Australia, US and Canada.

Zomato has raised a total of US$163 million in funding and has a presence across 22 countries.

Image Credit: Alena Kazlouskaya/Shutterstock