Zepto launches 10-minute "Cafe" delivery pilot in Mumbai

Zepto, India's youngest large quick commerce startup, has moved into foodtech with a 10-minute service of basic items like coffee and samosas in Mumbai.

Y Combinator backed quick commerce startup Zepto has launched a 10-minute food delivery service in Mumbai. The new service, called 'Cafe' on the app, is offering quick deliveries on food items including tea, coffee, samosas, and croissants.

First reported by Moneycontrol, the new Zepto service seems to have tied up with companies such as Blue Tokai Coffee, Chaayos, Gurukripa snacks, and Sassy Teaspoon. For the moment, orders under Rs 99 are being delivered for free.

Zepto, founded by 19-year old Stanford dropouts Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra in 2020, raised $60 million at a $255 million valuation last year from investors including Nilam Ganenthiran of Instacart and Ravi Inukonda of DoorDash.

Zepto has been differentiating itself from the foodtech market by focussing on 10-minute grocery deliveries stored in dark stores within a few kilometres of their destination.

In a Twitter conversation earlier today with Anand Mahindra, Palicha even broke down the data behind their model.

He said, "The avg [average] distance of a Zepto delivery is 1.8 km. To travel 1.8 km in 10 minutes, one has to drive at <15 kmph. That’s why Zepto has 3.1x lower accidents on avg [average] compared to a regular biker on the road."

While Zepto is moving from grocery deliveries to food, many of its competitors are moving in the other direction. Dunzo, Zomato Instant, Swiggy, and more are looking to replicate Zepto's quick commerce model for grocery deliveries across their markets in India.

The Zepto team reached out to YourStory post publication with a clarification from founder Aadit Palicha on the pilot programme.

"We launched the Zepto Cafe format as a pilot a few weeks ago, and we've seen an incredible response from customers. We're going to continue tweaking the model for quite some time so we can perfect the customer experience and unit economics before scaling.

“Let me clarify that we are not doing food delivery. This is a Café format, with ready-to-drink coffee, chai, and packaged snacks (like biscuits and sandwiches). We don't want to get distracted from our core business by building a complex supply chain for food delivery, where it's difficult to control quality."

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta


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