Naspers leads $1-billion funding round in Swiggy - TechCentral

Naspers leads $1-billion funding round in Swiggy

Just days after announcing it will lead a US$540-million funding round in Indian online education start-up BYJU’s, Naspers said on Thursday that it will invest $660-million in Swiggy, India’s largest food delivery platform.

The $1-bilion Series H round includes participation from several other existing Swiggy investors, including DST Global, Meituan Dianping and Coatue Management, along with new investors Tencent (the Chinese Internet giant in which Naspers holds a 31.2% stake), Hillhouse Capital and Wellington Management.

“Indian online consumers will be a significant driver of online growth in the world, and in addition to food and education, Naspers’s investments and operations in India include online classifieds business OLX; MakeMyTrip, the leading online travel company; and payments company PayU,” it said.

“The quality of the best Indian entrepreneurs and their ability to build innovative businesses that address the unique needs of the Indian consumer offer unparalleled growth opportunities.”

Swiggy has doubled its gross merchandise value in the past six months as it “continues to unlock the tremendous potential in Indian food delivery”, Naspers said.

Swiggy will use the funds to bring more quality food brands closer to consumers and address gaps in supply through delivery-only kitchens under the “Access” initiative for restaurant partners.

It will also use the capital to hire talent, especially in machine learning and engineering roles. The company will strengthen its technology backbone and focus on building the next-generation artificial intelligence-driven platform for “hyperlocal discovery and on-demand delivery”.

10x growth

Naspers first invested in Swiggy in April 2017. “Swiggy has 10 times the number of orders per month since our first investment, has expanded throughout India to tier one, two and three cities, and, most importantly, is the most-loved food delivery brand in India, providing the best service to consumers nationwide,” said Larry Illg, CEO Food and Ventures, Naspers in a statement.

Since the last round of funding six months ago, Swiggy has expanded to 42 additional cities and now has about 120 000 delivery partners.

Food delivery is a big growth area for Naspers. Its portfolio includes Delivery Hero, iFood and South Africa’s Mr D Food.

“The online food delivery market globally is under-penetrated, presenting big growth opportunities that are well-aligned with Naspers’s footprint,” the group said.

“Shifting global trends, including increased population and smartphone use, will fuel additional growth in online food delivery, and Naspers has the talent and business expertise within the group to successfully support and grow these businesses in high-growth markets globally.”  — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media

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