Debashish Chakraborty

Uber rides into Dunzo, Rapido zone; launches 'Uber Connect'

Currently available in just four cities across India, the service will help customers send items to friends and family.

Uber India recently entered the person to person (P2P) on-demand delivery segment, with 'Uber Connect'. The service will pick and drop ‘essentials’ and other non-prohibited commodities, like books, birthday gifts and cleaning supplies, from one customer to another.

These days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, stepping out of the home to fetch necessities can put one at a high risk, so this service can provide major relief to people. Other players in this space include Dunzo, Rapido and Swiggy.

Uber rides into Dunzo, Rapido zone; launches 'Uber Connect'

Uber is currently piloting the 'Uber Connect' service in four Indian cities, Kolkata, Jaipur, Guwahati and Gurugram. While the first two fall in the 'high risk' red zone, the latter two fall in the orange zone.

All the packages should be transportable on a two-wheeler, weigh under five kg, securely sealed and shouldn’t include prohibited items, like alcohol, ammunition, highly perishable food, fragile goods, recreational drugs and illegal items.

Similar to cab rides, the customers will be able to track the progress - from pickup, en route, to drop-off. In the available cities, the feature can be accessed by updating the Uber application.

Last month, Uber also launched ‘UberMedic’, a service providing transportation to doctors and nurses from their homes to hospitals and vice versa. Currently operational in 10 cities, ‘UberMedic’ acts as a source of income for Uber’s driver-partners in these tough times.

Since the lockdown, online ride-hailing and food delivery business, among other services, have been hit hard. Various platforms have, therefore, been forced to explore new revenue streams to get through the crisis.

Uber rides into Dunzo, Rapido zone; launches 'Uber Connect'

Founded in 2015, Dunzo, one of the early entrants in its segment, has witnessed a 3x surge in its orders, post lockdown. Additionally, the weekly traction frequency of the customers has gone up from 2.2 to 2.8 times. Despite the lockdown, the brand claims to have witnessed an influx of new partners, and has begun remote onboarding, too.

Uber rides into Dunzo, Rapido zone; launches 'Uber Connect'

Recently, bike taxi app Rapido entered the pack delivery segment with 'Rapido Local'. The service is limited to delivering food, groceries and medicine from one person to another. It is currently operational in three cities, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad. The service is in-built in the Rapido app.

Meanwhile, Swiggy also revamped its offering 'Swiggy Go', with 'Genie', an instant pick and drop service to deliver ‘essentials’, including over-the-counter medicines from offline stores. The hyperlocal delivery service is currently available in 15 cities.