Food services company Jubilant Foodworks Limited on Wednesday informed the exchanges that it has entered into share purchase agreement to acquire 35% stake in Hashtag Loyalty Private Limited for an estimated Rs 24.75 crore. The company runs the direct ordering platform Thrive.
Hashtag Loyalty Private Limited (HLPL) is engaged in the business of providing a platform which allows brands their own online ordering systems to accept direct orders from customers and provides an omni-channel customer engagement and marketing automation platform to restaurant owners.
Its online delivery platform Thrive offers “unbundled solutions”—such as digital menus, tie-ups with online payment providers, logistics, customer insight and data, POS integration, email and SMS marketing, ads on Facebook, promo codes etc to restaurants of all sizes.
On its site, Thrive lists restaurant chains such as The Bombay Canteen, Natural’s ice cream, and Belgian Waffles, among several others as its clients. Thrive works with over 3,500 restaurants across the country.
The move comes as new-age ordering platforms that allow restaurant brands to build their own ordering channels have emerged—this is especially true as the pandemic drives up consumer interest in online food ordering. More established restaurants, on the other hand, are building their own online ordering capabilities, in part to escape hefty aggregator commissions and drive direct consumer engagement.
"This investment reflects the company’s intent of making strategic investments in promising start-ups and emerging businesses and is in line with the stated goal of building a multi-brand and multi-country food business powered by technology," Jubilant Foodworks Limited, that operates the Domino’s Pizza franchise as well as Dunkin’ restaurants in India, said in a filing to the exchanges.
In FY20, Hashtag Loyalty reported total revenues of Rs 1.13 crores.
India’s food delivery market is estimated at $ 4.2 billion. Aggregators such as Zomato and Swiggy lead the market and drive online food deliveries in India.
However, struck by the pandemic, several large and more established restaurants took the help of start-ups to drive their own food ordering systems. This includes companies such as Peppo and Dotpe.
Meanwhile, industry body the National Restaurant Association of India—has been pushing the direct ordering campaign in a bid to counter hefty commissions and charges levied by the food aggregators.
The promoters of HT Media Ltd and Jubilant FoodWorks are closely related. HT Media owns Mosaic Media Ventures, which publishes VCCircle.