Zomato Buys Logistics Startups Sparse Labs And Indonesia’s GO-JEK Acquires Indian Home Healthcare Services Startup Pianta

GO-JEK, an Indonesian unicorn startup which is backed by Sequoia Capital and Yuri Milner-backed DST Global, has acquired Bangalore-based home healthcare services startup Pianta.

Zomato Buys Logistics Startups Sparse Labs And Indonesia’s GO-JEK Acquires Indian Home Healthcare Services Startup Pianta
Zomato Buys Logistics Startups Sparse Labs And Indonesia’s GO-JEK Acquires Indian Home Healthcare Services Startup Pianta

Zomato Buys Logistics Startup Sparse Labs to Improve Delivery Service

Restaurant discovery and food-ordering portal Zomato, has acquired Sparse Labs, a logistics-tech startup that helps restaurants track and optimise their in-house delivery fleet. As part of the acquisition, Zomato aims at improving delivery service for its users. Post acquisition, Sparse Labs’ founder Pankaj Batra will continue developing his vision at Zomato.

Founded in 2014 by Pankaj Batra, Sparse Labs has developed a lightweight Android-based app, which transmits a rider’s location to both the restaurant and the user in real time. The rider can use the app to receive route information, which helps ensure quicker and more efficient deliveries. The system also allocates orders to riders based on their proximity to the restaurant, and uses machine learning to identify a rider’s familiarity with a neighbourhood to further optimise delivery efficiency. Restaurants also have the option of using a proprietary GPS tracker developed by Sparse, that can be fitted onto bikes.

Commenting on the acquisition, Deepinder Goyal, Zomato’s co-founder and CEO stated in the blog post that, “Joining forces with Sparse Labs will allow us to significantly improve the food ordering experience on the app, by giving users real-time GPS-based status updates on their order. While we were already working on making this feature available for deliveries handled by our logistics partners, Sparse Labs will now help us enable delivery tracking for restaurant-owned fleets as well.”

At the restaurant end, this technology will help make deliveries highly cost- and time-efficient, allowing them to optimise delivery routes and ensuring minimal wait time for riders.

“Sparse Labs will be renamed as Zomato Trace, and we will be rolling out the service free of cost to our restaurant partners very soon,” mentioned Deepinder.

Indonesian Unicorn Startup GO-JEK Buys Indian Home Healthcare Services Startup Pianta

GO-JEK, Indonesia’s largest start-up has acquired Pianta, a Bangalore-based home healthcare services start-up for an undisclosed amount. This is the third Indian acquisition by the Indonesian unicorn following its previous buys in 2015 – Bangalore-based C42 Engineering and Delhi-based CodeIgnition. The acquisition will help fast track the development of GO-JEK's logistics and transportation platforms to support its fast-growing Indonesia operations.

As part of the acquisition, the newly acquired firm will be wholly integrated into GO-JEK’s India arm, GO-JEK Engineering India. Based in Bangalore, GO-JEK Engineering India focuses on product innovation, mining data and crafting consumer experiences for its parent company GO-JEK. The company is looking to double its existing India headcount of 70 employees in the coming months.

Run by SLX Logistics Pvt. Ltd., Pianta is a marketplace for home healthcare services that helps discover and book appointments with healthcare providers who provide home visits for physiotherapy, nursing and lab sample collection. The start-up had raised an undisclosed seed funding in May 2016 from Freecharge founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon.

Founded in 2015 by former Ola and Flipkart executives Swaminathan Seetharaman, Ganesh Subramanian and Nitin Agarwal, Pianta has over 250 home service providers listed on its platform. Seetharaman has worked with Ola as vice president of engineering while Subramanian was earlier principal architect at Ola. Agarwal was earlier a director of engineering at Ola.

The acquisition will see the three co-founders strengthen the core leadership team at GO-JEK Engineering India, led by Sidu Ponnappa, whose tech firm C42 Engineering was bought in 2015 by GO-JEK, as its Managing Director.

Swaminathan Seetharaman, CEO & Co-founder, Pianta said "GO-JEK provides us with a great opportunity to leverage the capabilities that we at Pianta have built in the domain of on-demand delivery and logistics. It presents us with a large canvas to create a much larger impact and to create it faster.”

Funded initially by the likes of Sequoia Capital and Yuri Milner’s DST Global, GO-JEK is currently the fastest growing start-up in South Asia and the largest in Indonesia in terms of valuation, funding raised and number of transactions. Having started as a bike-taxi business, the start-up has diversified into food delivery, one-hour courier delivery, grocery delivery and even has aggregated trucks on its platform. It has partnered with 200,000 motorcycle drivers and 5,000 trucks across Indonesia, all of whom, collectively cover an average distance of 4.5 million kilometres daily.

Last month, GO-JEK had secured more than $550 million in a new round of funding led by KKR and Warburg Pincus LLC, the largest ever for an Indonesian technology start-up. The start-up competes against the likes of Uber and Grab, two private car-hailing start-ups in Indonesia’s burgeoning ride-hailing industry.

With over 20 million app downloads, GO-JEK's platform powers the Indonesian equivalents of Ola, Paytm, Swiggy, Grofers, Zomato, Dunzo and UrbanClap at a comparable scale. Its GO-FOOD business alone does more daily orders than all Indian food tech start-ups combined.

The company is actively looking for talent for key operations like data science, mobile, security and DevOps as it looks to shore up its technology operations in Bangalore and Singapore.

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