Amazon is aiming to launch a restaurant delivery service in India this year according to a report out yesterday in Reuters. While not confirmed yet, if true it would mark another global move in the food delivery space for Bezos’ behemoth.
The Seattle-based company is working with local partner Catamaran, founded by IT industrialist Narayana Murthy, and has begun hiring staff for the new operation, the sources said, declining to be named because the plans had yet to be made public.
The story goes on to say that Amazon wants to launch the service in time for India’s month-long festive season, which kicks off in September.
Reuters’ story came on the same day that Business Standard reported Amazon was in talks to buy Uber Eats in India. None of the parties for either deal provided a comment to Reuters.
Though we don’t have a lot to work on with these reports, the potential news caught our eye because if either/both of them do pan out, it would mark another major international investment in food delivery for Amazon.
In May, Amazon announced it was part of a $575 million investment round in U.K. based food delivery startup Deliveroo (though U.K. regulators have slowed that deal down). Amazon had shut down its restaurant delivery service in the U.K. last year, and went on to shutter its restaurant delivery here in the U.S. last month, which wasn’t surprising given how far it trailed competitors like GrubHub and DoorDash.
With the global market for online food delivery projected to hit more than $160 billion by 2023, it’s no wonder Amazon wants a piece of that pie. But it will face tough competition in India as companies like Swiggy ($1.5 billion raised) and Zomato ($755 million raised) are well established.