Food aggregator Zomato will not charge any commission on takeaway orders, and will also forego the payment gateway charges it incurs on such orders, the company announced on Wednesday. The company said that takeaway order volumes have more than tripled in the last few months. More than 55,000 takeaway restaurants are currently live on Zomato’s app, the company added. Zomato also said that its food delivery business has crossed pre-COVID levels, operating at around 110% of pre-COVID GMV (gross merchandise value). However, it also cautioned that while the signs are now encouraging, this growth in order volumes has not been “uniform”, and the “overall food service industry is still far from full recovery”.
The food delivery and dine out sector were among the most badly hit industries due to the coronavirus pandemic. In August, Zomato said that the food delivery industry had “largely recovered”, but noted that a number of dine-in restaurants are looking at an uncertain future, as several of them have already permanently shut shop. In fact, the company estimated that around 40% restaurants in India that shut due to the lockdowns may not be able to reopen at all.
In the course of the pandemic, both Swiggy and Zomato have laid off employees to manage costs. Swiggy laid off more than 1,400 employees, whereas Zomato had to let go around 13% of its workforce. Both the companies have also forayed into alcohol deliveries in multiple states.
Zomato has, in recent months, seen an infusion of capital. Earlier this week, it raised ₹1,452.4 crore ($195 million), taking its valuation ₹26,818 crore (₹3.6 billion). In October, US-based Kora Investments had reportedly pumped ₹386 crore ($52 million) into Zomato, with a larger amount follow-up amount expected in the coming months.
Earlier this year, Zomato’s fundraising efforts were affected by intensifying Indo-China tensions. After raising $150 million from existing investor Ant Financial, only $50 million came through as relations between the two countries soured. Zomato has plans of going public in 2021.
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