Food-tech firm Swiggy is going beyond online food ordering and delivery services. With the launch of its latest offering Swiggy Stores, the Bengaluru-headquartered unicorn will now offer doorstep delivery of daily essentials such as groceries from both online and offline stores.

Swiggy Stores promises to deliver products to the doorstep in less than an hour. The new service will be a part of Swiggy's existing mobile app.

“Swiggy Stores extends the convenience of ordering food from nearby restaurants to ordering anything from any store across your city,” Swiggy's chief executive Sriharsha Majety wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Swiggy Stores is being launched in beta for now, and the service has been started in Gurugram for the time being. Swiggy Stores will deliver from over 3,500 stores across the city, including the likes of meat start-up Licious, food store Le Marche, and Zappfresh.com, among others. It has already partnered with over 200 stores in categories ranging from fruit and vegetables to florists; paan shops to pet care stores.

“With the largest active last mile fleet in the country and a paranoid focus on consumer-centricity, we began asking ourselves the same question. We realised we could bring the food delivery like magical reality and convenience to a lot of other local commerce needs,” Majety said.

Swiggy currently has a delivery fleet of about 125,000 active delivery partners and will leverage this manpower to execute orders generated for Swiggy Stores.

“They are primarily in delivery service, touching thousands of households while delivering foods. In my view, they have spare capacity and it's natural expansion for them to do this, especially when grocery delivery firms like BigBasket are doing well. Also, they will be serving the same clients, so there is no need for additional spend for acquiring clients,” says Anil Joshi, founder and managing partner at Unicorn India Ventures, a venture capital firm.

With this new offering, Swiggy will compete with Google-backed Dunzo, which provides delivery services in Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad.

Joshi, however, believes Swiggy Stores will have its own of shares of challenges. “While Swiggy is good at delivering food on time, they need to set up sourcing and infrastructure to be able to deliver on demand these daily essentials. Immediate sourcing could, hence, be a challenge as will be storage as some of these products are highly perishable,” he says.

For cash-flushed Swiggy, expansion is a means to add business opportunities. Currently, Swiggy delivers about 28 million orders per month across the food delivery segment. With Swiggy Stores, the number of orders will definitely go up.

In December, in what was the single largest financing round in the Indian food-tech segment, Swiggy, raised $1 billion in its Series H round of funding, led by existing investor Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group. The round included participation from several existing investors, including DST Global, Meituan-Dianping and Coatue Management, along with new investors Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, and Wellington Management Company. The funding round gave India’s largest food delivery platform a valuation of $3.3 billion.

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