The online food delivery industry in India is set for a big churn as Uber has reportedly entered advanced stages of talks to sell Uber Eat's India business to rival Zomato by the end of this year. According to a TechCrunch report on Monday citing sources, the deal "currently values Uber Eats' India business at around $400 million". As part of the deal, "Uber may invest between $150 to $200 million in Zomato", the report claimed, citing sources.
As an event in Delhi earlier this month, Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said the company is aiming to raise up to $600 million in a new funding round.
When contacted, Zomato said it "does not comment on rumours or speculations".
Despite arriving in the Indian market in 2017, Uber Eats has not made enough inroads in the online food delivery segment.
Zomato is currently delivering 1.3 million orders a day from 150,000 restaurants across India at more than 10 orders per restaurant per day.
Swiggy has expanded its services to 500 cities in India, matching rival Zomato's reach in the country. Swiggy, which has added 60,000 new restaurants in the past six months, said in October it would expand to 600 cities by December 2019.
Since April 2019, Swiggy has increased the number of restaurant partners by almost 1.8 times to 1.4 lakh restaurants currently. In tier-3 and tier-4 cities specifically, Swiggy has onboarded over 15,000 restaurants in the last six months.
The market is piping hot as according to a recent study by business consultancy firm Market Research Future, the online food ordering market in India is likely to grow at over 16 per cent annually to touch $17.02 billion by 2023.
Uber Eats last week launched its operations in Cuttack, its second city in Orissa, saying it Awill partner with a number of local restaurants such as Mirchi, Biryani Box, DFC Dada's Biryani, Burger Adda Factory.
In a recent interaction, Uber Eats told IANS that it is not only going to stay put in the growing food tech industry in India but is also building strong linkages with restaurant partners for a seamless delivery experience for its customers.
"Right now, we are more focused on delivery with the restaurant partners. We are learning in the India market and making our mark in that space before we can add anything more to it," said Bansi Kotecha who is Head of Operations, Uber Eats.
The deal is reportedly in the works as merger reports of Bengaluru-based Swiggy and Gurugram-based Zomato -- two biggest players in the burgeoning online food delivery market - have also resurfaced.
The merger talks between the two food delivery platforms have revived as the competition is set to grow with Amazon's reported expansion into online food delivery business in the country.