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Zero-fee food delivery app WAAYU debuts in Mumbai

Tech entrepreneurs Mandar Lande (L) and Anirudha Kotgire (R) with actor Suniel Shetty (C) launched the services on Monday
Tech entrepreneurs Mandar Lande (L) and Anirudha Kotgire (R) with actor Suniel Shetty (C) launched the services on Monday

Summary

Employing a software as a service (SaaS) model, WAAYU will not charge any commission fees, allowing restaurants to price their dishes competitively and pass the savings on to customers.

Food delivery app WAAYU developed by tech entrepreneurs Anirudha Kotgire and Mandar Lande of Destek HORECA, launched its services in Mumbai on Monday. It is backed by Mumbai-based Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), besides other industry bodies. Actor and hotelier Suniel Shetty will be the brand ambassador, the company said.

Employing a software as a service (SaaS) model, WAAYU will not charge any commission fees, allowing restaurants to price their dishes competitively and pass the savings on to customers.

More than 1,000 Mumbai eateries, such as Bhagat Tarachand, Mahesh Lunch Home, Banana Leaf, Shiv Sagar, Guru Kripa, Kirti Mahal, Persian Darbar and Ladu Samrat, have joined the platform. The largest quick service restaurant (QSR) chain, McDonald’s, is also in the process of integrating with WAAYU.

“WAAYU app will transform the online food delivery industry by embracing a commission-free model. We have 16 revenue streams, but not all will kick in from the beginning. We will have a fixed fee deal with the restaurants at an introductory price of 1,000 per month per outlet. Later, it will be increased to 2,000 a month. There is no per-order commission," said Kotgire.

Sukesh Shetty, president of AHAR, said restaurants typically pay 12-30% commission to aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato. “WAAYU is an app by the industry and for the industry. So, the commission is zero, plus they will get data on customer preferences."

The app will also offer restaurant owners increased flexibility and control over online ordering, with payments made instantly and directly to their bank accounts using various methods, such as unified payments interface (UPI), Paytm, Google Pay, net banking, and credit or debit cards.

Restaurants can also choose from a range of delivery partners, such as Grab and Dunzo or have their own personnel.

“Our plan is to add 10,000-plus restaurants in Mumbai, Pune, and the suburbs in the next three months, and then expand WAAYU to both metro and non-metro cities across India," Lande said. “We are offering quality food from popular restaurants at affordable rates and zero commission is our unique selling proposition and we will continue with it."

It will also integrate with the government’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

Suneil Shetty confirmed the development. “I’m an equity holder in WAAYU as well as its brand ambassador."

“India’s hospitality industry has grown manifold post-pandemic and both restaurateurs and customers will benefit from WAAYU! The hospitality sector teaches you to acquire customers and that’s been my learning right from the start from when I worked with my dad in his restaurant," he said.

The online food delivery market in India was at $5.3 billion in 2022, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33% to $29.33 billion by 2028.

While people from over 400 cities order food online, 80% of the orders come from five locations, including Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.

After launching its services in Mumbai, WAAYU will soon start expanding to other cities, Kotgire added.

Before WAAYU, Lande and Kotgire had tested the zero-commission model with kirana-stores with the Meri Dukaan app, which was used by over 10,000 offline stores.

WAAYU brought on board Paytm, CCAvenue, Easebuzz and Razorpay as its payment partners, ICICI Bank and Jupiter as the banking partners, and Dunzo and Grab as delivery partners. AWS is the company’s network partner.

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