Swiggy and Zomato, food delivery rivals in India, back UrbanPiper in $24 million funding

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UrbanPiper, a restaurant management platform that processes 18% of all online food orders in India, has raised $24 million in a new financing round from a number of investors including Swiggy and Zomato, the three firms said Monday.

The six-year-old startup’s Series B funding was led by existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global. Pankaj Chaddah, a founder of Zomato, Ankit Nagori of Curefoods and Khadim Batti and Vara Kumar are among some angels who have also invested in the new round.

The vast majority of restaurants that sell online tend to maintain businesses with multiple food delivery startups. This typically means that the staff at those restaurants have to manage management apps from multiple firms and painstakingly track order flows and inventory on all services.

UrbanPiper operates a one-shop app that syncs inventory and commerce flows with multiple services at once.

“For many restaurants, it’s not feasible for food delivery firms to offer them the system, dashboard, detailed analysis on billing and invoicing. We are able to deliver on that. When we all come together, we can all probably do a better job and move the industry forward,” Saurabh Gupta, co-founder and chief executive of UrbanPiper, told TechCrunch in an interview.

"These chains, their volumes were too high and at that scale, they could not operate multiple dashboards."

The startup processes 14 million orders a month, up from 2 million it processed in 2019, when it raised a $7.5 million Series A funding, he said. "We have also grown the number of restaurants we serve by 10 times," he added.

"Plenty of times as a restaurant owner, you want to change your pricing, add different items, run special campaigns on new brands in certain locations, we offer all these flexibilities," he said.

UrbanPiper has also expanded to seven nations outside of India, including some in MENA and EU regions. With the proliferation of food delivery firms, restaurants across the globe are facing similar challenges, he said.

“The restaurant ecosystem is evolving rapidly with changing consumer needs," said Shraeyansh Thakur, principal at Sequoia India, in a statement.

"Due to pandemic-led disruptions, merchants now increasingly want to adopt digital channels and upgrade their operations. UrbanPiper is at the forefront of this digital transformation and is strategically positioned to build infrastructure connecting digital players to merchants in the F&B ecosystem. Sequoia Capital India is excited to deepen the partnership with the UrbanPiper team as they build further on their mission to empower restaurants globally, and welcome Zomato and Swiggy to this partnership.”

The startup, which manages more than 27,000 restaurant locations across eight countries, plans to deploy the fresh funds to launch in more regions across India, MENA and EU and aims to onboard over 200,000 restaurant locations in the next two years, it said.

"UrbanPiper is one of our key partners enabling us to seamlessly engage with restaurants and scale faster through their point-of-sale solutions. Addressing specific needs, the team has always found ways to bridge gaps by creating a win-win for both restaurants and Swiggy. We are excited about the market potential and look forward to scaling our partner network with their continued support,” said Sriharsha Majety, chief executive of Swiggy, in a statement.

The investment in UrbanPiper is the latest strategic backing from Swiggy and Zomato. Bengaluru-headquartered Swiggy last week said it led a $180 million funding in bike and taxi aggregator Rapido. Zomato, which recently reached an agreement to acquire instant delivery firm Blinkit, has backed a number of other firms, including logistics startup Shiprocket, savings app Magicpin and fitness startup Curefit.

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