Food delivery platform Foodpanda, owned by ride-hailing company Ola, plans to open physical outlets for its private label brands, The Great Khichdi Experiment, Lovemade and FLRT, and list them on the Zomato, Swiggy and Dunzo food delivery apps, along with its own platform, people familiar with the matter said.The move is in line with Ola’s shift in strategy to largely scale up Foodpanda as a cloud kitchen business rather than as a marketplace model where it would compete head-on with larger rivals Swiggy and Zomato.
The company confirmed it was moving away from a marketplace food delivery business model, but declined to comment on expansion plans. Foodpanda, however, would continue to invest in expanding facilities and kitchens.
“As part of our ongoing business re-purposing initiatives, we are focused on building a portfolio of own food brands and curated food offerings through our fast expanding network of kitchens,” an Ola spokesperson said. “Many of these offerings are already available in all major cities through the Ola and Foodpanda apps,” he added.
Foodpanda already operates around 50 cloud kitchens across top cities.In January, ET reported that Foodpanda was cutting its focus from the marketplace and moving towards a cloud kitchen business as the cornerstone for growth.
Swiggy, too, owns two private labels, The Bowl Company and Homely, while UberEats runs the brand Home Cravings in collaboration with Cafe Coffee Day. Other cloud kitchen brands include Freshmenu, Eat.fit, and Rebel Foods-owned Faasos, Lunch Box, Oven Story, and Behrouz.
Building restaurant supply is a huge opportunity in India since the number, as well as density of restaurants, is limited, compared to other economies such as China and the United States.
Ola acquired Berlin-based online food ordering and delivery marketplace Delivery Hero’s 95% stake in Foodpanda in December 2017 for 26.5 million euros (Rs 200.7 crore) in an all-stock deal. The ride-hailing firm also invested a similar amount in the Foodpanda business.
At the time, Ola said it would invest $200 million in Foodpanda over time to scale up the business, but it has not made any follow on investments so far, even as rivals Swiggy and Zomato have raised huge amounts of capital.