The US e-commerce giant has launched Amazon Food, an online food delivery service, in India just as top local competitors Swiggy and Zomato reduce their workforce following the coronavirus outbreak.

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Amazon Food has initially rolled out its food delivery service in Bangalore, in Karnataka state, to allow customers to order prepared food from local restaurants and cloud kitchens.

PHOTO: Twitter

To date, the company has invested more than $6.5 billion in India, reports TechCrunch.

“Customers have been telling us for some time that they would like to order prepared meals on Amazon in addition to shopping for all other essentials. This is particularly relevant in present times as they stay home safe,” an Amazon spokesperson told the American online publisher.

“We also recognise that local businesses need all the help they can get. We are launching Amazon Food in select Bangalore pin codes allowing customers to order from handpicked local restaurants and cloud kitchens that pass our high hygiene certification bar. We are adhering to the highest standards of safety to ensure our customers remain safe while having a delightful experience,” added the spokesperson.

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The delivery service was scheduled to be launched in March but it was postponed due to the nationwide stay-at-home order by the Indian government.

Swiggy and Zomato have raised $2 billion together but due to the pandemic they are still not profitable with losing more than $15 million each month to acquire new customers and sustain existing ones.

Hence Amazon’s entry to the food delivery market could create more challenges for competitors Swiggy, Zomato, and Google-backed Dunzo, which also operates in Bangalore, the hub of India’s tech industry.