Zomato has acquired Sparse labs, a two and half year old bootstrapped logistics-tech company founded by Pankaj Batra, to address an area where it has "immense room for improvement" - the tracking of delivery. Incidentally, Batra once worked as the Technical Architect at StudyPlaces, a company which Zomato backer Info Edge had also funded. Sparse Labs has a lightweight Android application which helps restaurants track and optimise their in-house delivery fleet, by transmitting a delivery-persons location to both the restaurant and the user in real-time, as well as giving the delivery-person route information. The app will be renamed Zomato Trace. (hmm... trace-route?) This acquisition may help Zomato and its logistics partners, but is likely to fit with their B2B business as well. However, Zomato will be offering Trace to restaurants for free, "very soon". According to Zomato "the system also allocates orders to riders based on their proximity to the restaurant, and uses machine learning to identify a rider’s familiarity with a neighbourhood to further optimise delivery efficiency. Restaurants also have the option of using a proprietary GPS tracker developed by Sparse, that can be fitted onto bikes." According to its website, Sparse Labs works with Bueno Kitchen, Chop Chop, Cook Gourmet, Food Port, Pick my laundry, Quilvery, The Spice Lab, Whomely, Waiters on Wheels, Zaza Box. MediaNama's Take This helps only if it improves delivery time. As a customer the way I see it, I care for a few key things: that the food is delivered to me in time…
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