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ONDC August Round-Up: Ola, PepsiCo, 50000 restaurants, financial services, and more

ONDC in August reported a significant jump in the number of merchants (sellers) and restaurants compared to that of in January

Here are the updates on the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) from August 2023:

  • Ola planning on joining ONDC: Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal informed the crowd at the India Internet Day event on August 24 that Ola is considering joining ONDC. He, however, did not share details about the company’s plan. We have asked Ola for more details such as the timeline and in what capacity the company wants to join ONDC.
  • 150,000 merchants on the platform: On August 13, LiveMint reported that ONDC has nearly 150,000 merchants (sellers) on the platform. It is a significant jump from the 500 merchants the network had in January. Notably, around 90,000 of these merchants are drivers on the ride-hailing service Namma Yatri.
  • More than 50,000 restaurants on ONDC: There are more than 50,000 restaurants on the network, ONDC tweeted on August 23. Once again, a significant jump from the 500 restaurants there were in January.
  • More than 620 cities have placed orders on ONDC: ONDC has seen orders from over 620 cities despite no special marketing efforts outside of Delhi, Meerut, and Bangalore, CEO T Koshy said, MoneyControl reported. “At least 24 cities have seen more than 100 orders twice in a week in the last few months… It is not that there are big volumes, but the good thing is people are trying it out and the daily transactions are growing… By September or so, you expect to see some bigger names joining ONDC and launching their extensive outreach program nationally,” Koshy said. The network will target tier 2 and tier 3 cities in its next phase.
  • Draft specifications for financial services on ONDC: ONDC has released draft specifications for buying and selling financial products like gift cards and personal loans on the network, MoneyControl reported on August 8. ONDC currently caters to food and beverages, grocery, home and kitchen products, mobility, electronics, fashion, and beauty and personal care.
  • PepsiCo joins ONDC: Food and beverages major PepsiCo announced on August 28 that it has joined ONDC, bringing its portfolio of beverages and foods, including Pepsi, 7UP, Mountain Dew, Sting, Slice, Tropicana, Gatorade, Mirinda, Aquafina, Lipton, Lay’s, Kurkure, Doritos, Uncle Chips and Quaker Oats, directly on the network.

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  • Workshop with DPIIT nodal officers from across India: The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on August 11 held a workshop with Nodal Officers representing all the States and Union Territories of India to increase awareness about how ONDC can be leveraged according to each state’s specific needs and requirements.
  • ONDC targeting exports in September: ONDC will start going after the export market in September, CEO T Koshy said on August 4, IndiaRetailing.com reported. Koshy did not share details on these plans.
  • Antler launches ONDC-focused platform for fundraising: Investment platform Antler and the Foundation for Interoperability in Digital Economy (FIDE) launched an ONDC-focused platform that will give entrepreneurs in the space access to capital, content, and community. “The platform offers pre-seed capital of $300K, along with an additional investment of up to $200K from key partners (including unicorn founders and strategic backers) in the Antler network, for ready teams with an idea,” the platform said.
  • How grievance redressal should work on ONDC: Here’s a LinkedIn post that offers a good outline of how complaints and grievance redressal should ideally work on ONDC and what the network is currently doing.
  • Dunzo launches seller app: Reliance-backed Dunzo, earlier this month, launched a seller app on ONDC through its business-to-business (B2B) vertical. The startup was already part of ONDC, providing logistics services, but it will now also play a role in onboarding merchants and has the aim to onboard 20,000 merchants across verticals in the next 45 days.
  • Three Mensa brands join ONDC: Mensa announced that it is integrating three of its portfolio brands into ONDC—men’s lifestyle brand Villain, jewellery brand Priyaasi, and peanut butter brand MyFitness.
  • MoU with Dhiway for distributed ledger network: ONDC and Dhiway have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing an interoperable distributed ledger network as a scoring repository.
  • BlueStar joins ONDC: Air Conditioners manufacturer Blue Star joined ONDC as a seller network participant.
  • PM Modi’s remarks about ONDC at the G20 Digital Summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the G20 Digital Summit held in Bangalore between 17 to 19 August, talked about ONDC and how it will democratise e-commerce in India. You can find the relevant excerpt of the address here.

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