Here’s a detailed breakdown of what this means for us and how it fits with our plan to change the status quo of the online food delivery market.
In March 2020, Krishi, Dhruv, and I virtually sat down to assess the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to our organisation. I could hardly imagine that I would be sitting and typing an announcement that we have raised a round from Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd which is part of The Coca-Cola Company, with a rich legacy of refreshing the world and making a difference for 136+ years.
What is Thrive Now, what do we do, and why are we gunning to disrupt the status quo in the online ordering ecosystem?
The biggest problems faced by restaurants in the online ordering ecosystem in India include high commission rates charged by delivery aggregators, lack of control over customer data, and difficulty in competing with larger, established players in the market.
Thrive Now started out as a pandemic baby, with a vision to make the lives of restaurants a lot better, aka, more profitable in a world filled with skyrocketing commissions.
Thrive provides restaurateurs with a modern ordering solution by building microsites for individual restaurants, multi-outlets, and even larger F&B corporations, from which customers can place their orders directly, instead of opting for an aggregator platform. The defining factor is that the commission we charge restaurants per order is as low as 3%, in comparison to the 25-30% charged by the duopoly in the space of food delivery.
Making food commerce better for everyone
We strongly believe it’s the right time for a positive disruption to the status quo established in the online food delivery market. For all the good, delivery aggregators have done in establishing an industry from scratch, there are parts of it that can be drastically improved.
Keeping this in mind, our mission is to transform food commerce with an innovative platform for food discovery and ordering that inspires and empowers restaurants to grow without limits so they can delight consumers everywhere.
From restaurant partners to delivery executives and other 3PL providers, to the end consumer - each notch in the chain needs to be positively impacted and that’s when we'll know our work has made an impact.
B2B or B2C, B2B2C?
We’ve long understood that to have the right impact in this space, we’d need to make sure we’re able to get the following things right - strong tech, seamless delivery experiences, and discovery (for consumers, and demand-gen for restaurants). While we’ve worked hard on the former two, the discovery was completely dependent on restaurants. Also, it meant we stopped looking at this from a conventional lens of business-to-business (restaurant / B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C / D2C) problem statement.
To impact this we recently launched a beta version of a discovery platform. Today the defining factor is a simplified commerce flow - that involves sustainable economics for restaurants, complete access to their customer data, clear distinction between new and repeat customers and allows consumers to benefit from better prices that restaurants are able to pass on. Moving forward (in the next couple of quarters), our focus is going to lie on empowering consumers to participate in the discovery process through community, content and candid expression. Rather than a focus on sponsored listings and discounts.
The key here lies in understanding the right balance and impact we need to make for each stakeholder (whether that’s B or C) to truly make this a positive sum ecosystem.
Why Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. & how these fit in our vision?
This collaboration between Thrive and Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. will ensure an improved experience for consumers as they can order beverages of their choice along with their favourite meal from Thrive’s partner restaurants. This presents a great opportunity for both Thrive and Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. given the online food delivery market's projected rapid growth and contribution to the total food services industry.
It’s imperative to have partners with you along your journey who resonate with your ideology, and outlook on how things should be. We’ve always brought along partners that truly get this.
This has been more than a year in the making - to understand each other and what we’d like to bring out of this partnership. With this partnership, Thrive will be able to accelerate its restaurant reach and acquire consumers through various Coca-Cola India assets.
Online food delivery in India is expected to grow rapidly at ~35% to ~$18B GMV and contribute ~18% of total food services by FY25, led by growth in users from 20mn to 60mn. Coca-Cola India’s investment in Thrive allows them to access business opportunities and improve consumption on the digital front.
Moreover, with Coca-Cola India and Thrive Now, it just clicked. We found excellent synergies with their India leadership team in our outlook on the market and how we can work towards bringing a change.
To conclude, we’ve still a long way to go to achieve our vision, but with partners like Jubilant FoodWorks & Coca-Cola India, we believe we’ve been able to set up a strong foundation to be able to take on the long-sustained challenge to bring about a long-needed positive change in online food delivery industry.
Krishi Fagwani, co-founder and CEO of Thrive
"We're delighted to bring on Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. We found excellent synergies with Coca-Cola India’s leadership team in our outlook on the market and how we can work towards bringing a change. Our purpose is to make food commerce better for every stakeholder involved, and we're excited to witness and collaborate with Coca-Cola India to work towards bringing a positive disruption in the food-tech space."
Greishma Singh, Vice President, Customer & Commercial Leadership, Coca-Cola India & Southwest Asia.
“Coca-Cola India is delighted to partner with the Thrive Now ecosystem as we see digital capability as an essential multiplier for our India growth strategy. Meals are a critical consumption occasion for our beverages, so the Eat & Drink channel is an ideal place for us to be investing in technology and innovating to digitally enable every outlet to provide a superior consumer experience online and offline.”
About Thrive Now
Thrive Now (Thrive) is a Mumbai-based food-tech company that offers a modern ordering system for restaurants. This enables direct sales, detailed analytics, insights into performance, and a marketing suite to capitalize on the generated customer data. During the pandemic, the company launched Thrive Direct, allowing restaurants to create online ordering microsites, reducing their reliance on aggregators.
Earlier this year, Thrive launched a beta version of its discovery application currently in beta and servicing within Mumbai only, soon coming to cities across India - download here. Thrive’s discovery platform offers restaurants low commissions, complete access to customer data and a clear distinction between new and repeat customers. The company was founded by Krishi Fagwani, Dhruv Dewan, and Karan Chechani, and has its roots in Hashtag Loyalty, a marketing CRM SAAS platform. The Hashtag Loyalty stack has evolved into Thrive Marketing, a suite of tools that helps restaurants acquire and retain customers omnichannel.
Currently, over 14,000 restaurants across 80 cities in India use Thrive. The beta version of the consumer application is available for download from the respective app stores and can be accessed by customers in Mumbai. The app will soon be available to the wider public and expanded to other cities over time. Jubilant FoodWorks, Whiteboard Capital, Ahimsa Capital, thinQbate Ventures, Upekkha, Razorpay Founders, and most recently, Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. have invested in Thrive Now.
By championing transparency, community, and content, Thrive seeks to create a better food commerce experience for all parties involved - restaurants, consumers and riders alike.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company with products sold in more than 200 countries and territories. Our company’s purpose is to refresh the world and make a difference. We sell multiple billion-dollar brands across several beverage categories worldwide. Our portfolio of sparkling soft drink brands includes Coca-Cola, Thums Up, Sprite, Limca, and Fanta. Our hydration, sports, coffee and tea brands include Dasani, smartwater, vitaminwater, Topo Chico, BODYARMOR, Powerade, Costa, Gold Peak and Ayataka. Our nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverage brands include Minute Maid, Simply, innocent, Del Valle, Fairlife and AdeS.
We are constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We seek to positively impact people’s lives, communities and the planet through water replenishment, packaging recycling, sustainable sourcing practices and carbon emissions reductions across our value chain. Together with our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping to bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at www.cocacolacompany.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.