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TinyOwl plans to launch platform for food startups

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Launched planned for Dec ’15 with special focus on Internet-first restaurants.

TinyOwl will launch a platform for food internet startups and home chefs, potentially heating up competition with aggregator-based models Zomato and Food Panda.

TinyOwl’s co-founder Harshvardhan Mandad said the platform is expected to be launched by December, and that the startup will provide a full stack of technology services to internet-first restaurants, or restaurants based solely on a delivery model, listed on its platform. Services offered will include creating websites, building their mobile apps and managing their order inventories, among others.

“We’re hoping to have 500-plus internet-first restaurants listed with us over the next six months. We want them to integrate their technology with our APIs in order to provide a friction-less experience to consumers,” Mandad said.

The move comes at a time when a slew of food ventures, such as Orios Venture Partners-backed Yumist and Kalaari Capital-funded Holachef, have emerged over the past 12 months with asset-light models and a promise to serve quality fare at affordable rates.

The country’s broader online food services market, estimated at about USD 50 billion and dominated by Food Panda and Zomato, is growing annually at a compounded rate of 15-20%. Food Panda is backed by Rocket Internet while Zomato is funded by Info Edge and Sequoia Capital.

TinyOwl, which has over 10,000 conventional restaurants listed on its platform, has about 40 such food tech startups listed with it, but is now betting on the space to outgrow its rivals. “For example, 40% of our orders in Gurgaon, a major hub, comes from the internet-first restaurants. We believe that the future lies with them, and we want them to come to us,” Mandad said.

Overall, the Mumbai-based startup, which has, till date, raised about INR 120 crore in equity financing from Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital and Nexus Venture Partners, is targeting 100,000 orders per day across 50 cities by the end of the current fiscal, a significant portion of which is expected to come from internet-first restaurants.

The platform will mimic, to some extent, those of e-commerce marketplaces like Shopo, which was re-launched by Snapdeal last month, and which allows small and medium sellers, who don’t always own a business, to sell goods on the platform. Like Shopo, TinyOwl will not charge any listing fee. It’s a strategy that has received a cautious thumbs up from the internet-first restaurants.

Source: Economic Times

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