5 startups that are delivering essentials amid coronavirus lockdown

Startups from different sectors are adding extra services and partnering with logistics companies to enable delivery of essentials during coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought most economic activity to a near standstill. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that the economic slowdown due to the coronavirus crisis is the worst since The Great Depression of 1929. 

However, the lockdown has been beneficial to some startups that were built to deliver essentials and necessities. However, these players have been struggling to meet the demands of the public. As a result, many ventures, which were otherwise in the premium segment or providing various other services, have been repurposing their business offerings or launching new business arms to assist in these difficult times.

For example, Gurugram-based foodtech unicorn Zomato launched its grocery and essentials delivery service Zomato Market earlier this month. Initially available for Kerala and Punjab, it was later expanded to Bengaluru and Mumbai as well.

Similarly, ride-hailing giant Uber announced a partnership with grocery delivery unicorn Bigbasket for its new last-mile delivery service. This new service will enable the delivery of essentials in cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, and Noida. 

More players from different sectors are partnering with the bigger players to enable the delivery of essential goods. YourStory lists a few of them: 

WayCool Foods 

Farm-to-fork supply chain startup Waycool Foods has leveraged its sourcing and supply chain network in more than 50 locations in south India including Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru through partnerships and collaborations to boost delivery of essentials during the current nationwide lockdown imposed in view of coronavirus pandemic.

The startup has partnered with Zomato, Swiggy, and Dunzo in Chennai, Coimbatore and Bengaluru, FreshCura and Hesa Enterprises in Hyderabad, and with Meesho in Chennai for last-mile delivery of staples, vegetables, and fruits. 

The startup has put together a 20-member call centre team to check the stock status at over 15,000 general trade stores. WayCool has a strong base of more than 40,000 farmers and continues to source the produce directly from them.

At present, WayCool is moving more than 250 tonnes of produce per day across major cities in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala. It has also reached out to more than 12,000 families across several residential complexes and has delivered about 34,000 kits to those in need, through NGOs and government sources.


Digital credit startup ePayLater has partnered with tech-led service provider for housing communities Zipgrid, to launch ZipMart. It promises to ensure seamless last-mile logistics of essential commodities.

The initiative will be helping residential societies registered with Zipgrip, to enable them to order edibles and essentials available at ePayLater’s partnering stores. The service is currently available in Mumbai and NCR. 

A user of a Zipgrid-registered housing society/building can place grocery orders using ePayLater’s online portal integrated on the Zipgrid app, under the ZipMart tab. The service is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

Once placed, the order will be delivered at the doorstep of the consumer by an executive while observing all social distancing norms mandated by the government. 


Delhi-based ecommerce logistics and shipping software solution platform Shiprocket has partnered with on-delivery platform Dunzo, for delivery of essential items such as groceries, pharmaceuticals, and food items.

With 1,200 existing active sellers for hyperlocal services, the partnership provides extended delivery service which starts with a minimum range of three km and a maximum of 15 km. 

The strategic partnership with Dunzo will ensure that small-scale sellers don’t lose out on business or customers due to delayed deliveries or unavailability of riders. Currently, the service is spread across more than 1,600 pin codes in cities including Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Jaipur. 


Bike-taxi startup Rapido Bike Taxi announced the launch of its delivery vertical Essential.rapido, an online marketplace to cater to the essential needs of citizens. It has been supporting the Delhi government in delivering essential items like milk and food packets, under the DCPC Node, in underprivileged areas of the city. 

Rapido has also collaborated with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) COVID-19 Home Delivery Helpline as a delivery service partner in a move to resolve supply-chain challenges amid the lockdown. Equipped with a fleet of driver-partners, Rapido’s delivery vertical will enable the delivery of essential supplies from over 16,000 local groceries and medical stores.

In order to discourage the hoarding of supplies, the company announces its ‘no minimum quantity’ feature for buying essentials through this platform.

The orders can be placed by simply calling or dropping a WhatsApp message on the Helpline Number 080-61914960.


Tech-driven home services startup Housejoy launched Housejoy Mart for delivery of essential items. Currently active in Bengaluru, Housejoy Mart will help deliver groceries, vegetables, and other essential items to customers. 

With Housejoy Mart, the startup also aims to employ daily wage workers to deliver these essentials in an effort to help them earn a living.

Housejoy had recently partnered with GiveIndia for a campaign undertaken as an emergency response to help provide a safety net to their network of daily wage workers who are facing the brunt of the pandemic.

The startup has also joined hands with the Karnataka government for fumigation of public places, and has also activated maintenance services in Gurugram and Noida. 

Edited by Javed Gaihlot