Zomato today announced it has introduced electric and mechanical bicycles as part of its last mile delivery fleet. The foodtech unicorn said it aims to change 40 percent of its fleet to e-cycles over the next two years.
The Gurugram-based company said it already has over 5,000 cyclists across 12 cities, and that a majority of them are in Delhi-NCR. Zomato has partnered with Zoomcar's PEDL, Mobycy, Yulu, TNT and e-HIRAN to provide with the needed fleet of e-cycles for delivery executives. The deliveries through cycles will be allotted for short distances of up to 2.5 km.
In a press statement, Mohit Gupta, CEO, Food Delivery business, Zomato, said climate and environmental challenges are a reality, and given Zomato's planned expansion, the team was looking at the last mile fleet increasing by close to 150 delivery partners every day. He said: "This places the onus of focussing on pollution-free and minimal fossil-fuel solutions on us. We have been taking baby steps towards environmental responsibility by promoting biodegradable packaging and targeting food wastage with Feeding India. With this development, we are aiming to build a future that creates more tangible value and leaves a lesser carbon footprint. We are working closely with our vendor partners to raise the scale of e-cycle adoption and aim to convert 40 percent of our fleet to power-assisted bikes within the next two years."
Zomato claims it carries out close to a million deliveries a day. This, the team claims, translates to 4.4 million kilometres, and it believes that the use of bicycles will be more efficient.
The bicycles are provided with a delivery bag and delivery partners are trained on road safety norms at the Zomato Rider University.
Earlier this month, Zomato had raised $40 million in funding led by US-based private investors Glade Brook, according to the company's filings with the Registrar of Companies. This fund raise is reported to be a part of a larger $1 billion round Zomato is raising from existing investor Ant Financials and new investors.
In October 2018, the foodtech company had raised additional funding of $210 million led by Ant Financials. According to filings by Info Edge, which holds stake in Zomato, its stake in the Delhi-NCR based food delivery startup will drop to 27.68 percent from 30.91 percent with the additional capital. The reported valuation of Zomato is at $2 billion.
The startup claims to have over 22 million monthly orders, and after acquiring delivery startup Runnr, it claims to have a delivery fleet of 1.5 lakh partners. Rival Swiggy, in December, had raised $1 billion funding led by Naspers and other existing investors. It has been the single largest fund raise by a foodtech company in India.
Both Swiggy and Zomato have seen aggressive growth in recent times. In December 2018, Zomato acquired Lucknow-based TechEagle Innovations, which works exclusively on drones. With this acquisition, the company said it aims to use the technology to enable a multi-rotor drone for hub-to-hub deliveries.