Amazon.com Inc is entering the booming online food delivery business in India this year, sources aware of the development told Mint. Last month, Amazon closed its food delivery operations in the US owing to stiff competition.
The move to come to India could raise the stakes in what is a market dominated by Swiggy, backed by Naspers and Tencent, and Zomato, which counts Sequoia as an investor. Uber, which launched its India food delivery service in 2017, has been unable to compete with the local market leaders. Uber rival Ola bought Foodpanda in 2017, but it has been moving away from marketplace deliveries to focus on its own brand of kitchens.
Amazon is working with local partner Catamaran, founded by former chairman of Infosys, Narayana Murthy, and has begun hiring staff for the new operation, the sources told Mint. Amazon wants to launch the online food delivery service ahead of the festive season that begins in September.
The rising middle class in India has played the role in driving the online food delivery sector’s growth, where order numbers have rose 176% in 2018, according to research firm RedSeer Consulting.