Users will be able to book Ola cabs to restaurants directly via the map in the Zomato app. The only use, so far, of the map in the Zomato app has been to open Google Maps for directions, so this is a welcome development. Remember that Google Maps already integrates Ola, Uber and Meru. We checked, and the Ola integration doesn’t appear to be live (so far) on maps on Zomato. Apart from this, Ola Money will be included as a payment option for food orders via Zomato. Zomato will also help Ola set up special zones at ‘Zomato partner restaurants’.
This sounds like a pretty good deal for Ola, but what is Zomato getting for it? A customised Zomato micro-app on Ola Play, a platform/tablet which is only available for customers of the (comparatively expensive, hence lower footfall) Ola Prime customers, and competes for visibility with other Ola Play partners, including video content. While the press release says this is a ‘win-win’ for Zomato and Ola, on the face of it, this looks only like a win for Ola. Zomato should be getting some money out of this deal.
Why it’s also more of a win for Ola is that while Ola can also potentially partner with other table booking/restaurant search apps, Zomato will probably not seek out Uber as a partner, and it’s unlikely that Uber will seek it out either. Uber runs food delivery service UberEATS, which competes with Zomato’s own food delivery service.
Update: It has been pointed out to me (by multiple people) that Zomato had a partnership with Uber, but no longer does. I stand corrected, so let me rephrase: Zomato is a partnership that Uber can no longer get, while Ola can.
Both Ola and Uber have cab booking partnerships with appointment booking app Practo, as well as Google Maps. Uber has one with online travel agency Yatra.