The past calendar year was a very happening one for the food-tech industry in India. According to research and consulting company RedSeer, the sector posted triple-digit growth for the third-year running and players in the space expanded their footprint like never before. From a presence in just around 15 cities a year back, food-tech platforms expanded to over 100 cities in 2018 and about 30% of their orders now come from non-core markets.
Amid this rapid expansion, the sector has a new kingpin: Swiggy. The Bengaluru-based startup, run by Bundl Technologies Pvt. Ltd, emerged on top in trust and customer satisfaction in a food-tech survey by RedSeer, Mint reported. The latest edition of the RedSeer FoodTech Leadership Index (FLI) ranks Swiggy at the 1st place with a total score of 96 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Its arch-rival Zomato came in second with a score of 82. At third place on the rankings is UberEats followed by Ola's Foodpanda.
The RedSeer survey considered over 20 parameters across three broad categories, namely most preferred or trusted brand for online consumers, maximum value for money along with a meaningful assortment, and best buying experience from restaurant delivery to post-delivery experience. An overall score was assigned to each firm after weighing all the parameters.
According to the daily, Swiggy outscored Zomato by the widest margin - 22 vs 10 - on the parameters relating to trust, which measure aspects such as top-of-the-mind recall and unaided recall, among others. It also fared better in terms of best user experience, starting from exploring and ordering dishes to cancellations, customer support and overall net promoter score, a key customer satisfaction metric based on how likely customers are to recommend a brand or company.
In terms of value for money, all the top four food-tech startups were more or less at par. The RedSeer survey talked to over 900 customers across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata.
This latest feather in Swiggy's cap comes less than a month after it raised $1 billion in its series H funding round - the largest-ever in the food-tech sector. The round was led by existing investor Naspers along with DST Global, Meituan Dianping and Coatue Management, while new investors like Tencent, Hillhouse Capital and Wellington Management Company also participated in it. With this round, the startup's valuation reportedly mushroomed five times to $3.3 billion in just one calendar year. To date, Swiggy has raised a total of $1.26 billion.
While Zomato has also been building up its war chest, it is lagging behind Swiggy having reportedly raised $653.8 million so far. In February, Ant, popularly known as Alipay, had invested $200 million in Zomato, propelling in into the desi unicorn club. Swiggy had followed just four months later.
(Edited by Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal)
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