10-minute Delivery Is As Safe For Our Delivery Partners As 30-minute Delivery: Zomato's Deepinder Goyal

Goyal's explanation comes after Zomato Instant announcement received backlash

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A day after the online food aggregator and delivery platform Zomato was criticized on social media for announcing the launch of Zomato Instant, its 10-minute delivery service, its founder Deepinder Goyal shared his explanation. "Hello twitter, good morning. I just want to tell you more about how 10-minute delivery works, and how it is as safe for our delivery partners as 30-minute delivery. This time, please take 2 minutes to read through this (before the outrage)," Goyal said in a tweet.

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He added Zomato delivery partners are not informed about the promised delivery time for both 10- and 30-minute deliveries. His explanation comes after many said that this move would put the lives of delivery partners at risk. "10 minutes sounds amazing as a customer. But honestly, this would surely make your delivery staff tense and reckless. I'm sure, 30 minutes is worth waiting for delicious food arriving at our doorsteps," said cyber security expert Jiten Jain in a tweet.

Why Zomato Is Betting On Quick Commerce

According to reports, Zomato will merge with quick commerce startup Blinkit. The  transaction  is  said  to  value  Blinkit  between $700 million and $800 million. "In addition to that, after becoming a frequent customer of Blinkit (one of Zomato's investments in the quick commerce space), I started feeling that the 30-minute average delivery time by Zomato is too slow, and will soon have to become obsolete. If we don't make it obsolete, someone else will," said Goyal in the company's blog.

According to reports, the deal will help Blinkit, which is facing a cash crunch. The company has reportedly laid off employees, shut many of its dark stores across the country, and delayed some vendor payments.

The food delivery giant has been bullish on quick commerce in India. "Quick commerce category offers a huge addressable market and is also very synergistic with our food delivery business in the long term giving us a right to win over standalone players," Zomato had earlier said, adding that it had made cash investments worth $225 million in the past year across three companies - Blinkit (erstwhile Grofers), Shiprocket and Magicpin – towards its objective of building out quick e-commerce in India.

It was after Zomato's $100 Mn investment in Grofers in August 2021 that the company rebranded to Blinkit. Notably, before this, in June, Saurabh Kumar, cofounder of Grofers left the company almost 8 years after setting it up along with Albinder Dhindsa.

According to RedSeer management consulting, quick commerce is estimated to be a $30 Mn market in 2021 and is expected to grow up to 15x to reach $5 Bn in 2025. Zomato said that with $1.7 Bn cash in the bank, it would look to capitalize on the growth seen by Blinkit in the past year as quick commerce took center stage. In February 2022, Deepinder Goyal, founder, Zomato also sold his personal stake from Blinkit to Tiger Global, according to a news reported by Deal Street Asia.

A popular concept in Europe, quick commerce as a business model has been finding more takers in India, thanks to the skyrocketing number of internet users and the popularity of online deliveries. Ola has kicked off 15-minute grocery delivery in Bengaluru, Swiggy's InstaMart service delivers in 15-30 minutes, Dunzo promises to deliver in 19 minutes in Bengaluru through Xpress Mart and BigBasket has the BB Express, which claims to deliver essentials within 60 minutes. We also have Amazon Fresh which has expanded to many cities this year and promises to deliver in 2 hours and Flipkart in 90 minutes under its Flipkart Quick service.