San Francisco: In a bid to combat delivery-related fraud cases, e-commerce giant Amazon is making a section of its drivers take selfies before resuming their duties for the day in order to record and verify their identities using facial recognition from time to time.
For now, the requirement applies specifically to “Flex drivers” — who work as independent contractors for Amazon’s fastest “Prime” deliveries, deliver packages in their own cars and get paid $18 to $25 an hour, The Verge reported on Thursday.
By asking drivers to take selfies, Amazon could be preventing multiple people from sharing the same account which could screen out anyone who is technically unauthorised from delivering packages, such as criminals.
Prior to asking for selfies, the company notified drivers of the new requirement via the Flex app that their biometric data might be collected to confirm their identity from time to time.
Amazon to verify its drivers using their selfies before resuming their duties:
Previously, the e-commerce giant has come under fire for making its factory workers meet unreasonably high quotas, forcing them to skip out on bathroom breaks and pee in bottles. Hence in contrast, requiring drivers to take selfies seems like a very small demand, the report said.
Back in 2016, global ride sharing company Uber implemented a similar policy that demanded drivers to take selfies before signing into the platform and taking ride requests.
However, Uber’s plans failed to pan out as intended after reports surfaced pointing out how transgender Uber drivers were being laid off the company after taking a selfie and having it not match up to previous photos on file, due to being in different points of a gender transition.
Zomato acquires UberEats India for nearly Rs 2,500 crore
New Delhi: Zomato on Tuesday announced that it has acquired Uber’s Food Delivery Business in India in an all-stock deal and Uber will have 9.99 per cent stake in the Deepinder Goyal-led food delivery platform.
According to sources close to the deal, it is in the range of over $350 million or nearly Rs 2,500 crore.
Uber Eats in India will discontinue operations and direct restaurants, delivery partners, and users of the Uber Eats apps to the Zomato platform, effective from Tuesday.
“We are proud to have pioneered restaurant discovery and to have created a leading food delivery business across more than 500 cities in India. This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the category,” said Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato.
According to company sources, for the first three quarters of 2019, “our Uber Eats business comprised 3 per cent of our global Eats gross bookings, but was more than 25 per cent of our global Eats Segment Adjusted EBITDA losses”.
Uber started its food delivery service in India around mid-2017, but has not been able to scale up in the face of big players like Zomato and Swiggy.
It currently has nearly 26,000 restuarants listed on its platform from over 40 cities.
The market is piping hot as according to a recent study by business consultancy firm Market Research Future, the online food ordering market in India is likely to grow at over 16 per cent annually to touch $17.02 billion by 2023.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the Uber Eats team in India has achieved an incredible amount over the last two years.
“India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader,” said Khosrowshahi.
“We have been very impressed by Zomato’s ability to grow rapidly in a capital-efficient manner and we wish them continued success,” he added.
On January 10, Zomato had announced that it has secured $150 million in fresh funding from Ant Financial, a subsidiary of China-based giant Alibaba.
The latest round of funding in Zomato, which currently value the company at $3 billion, is part of $600 million funding round announced by Zomato CEO Goyal at a Delhi event last December.
The deal comes in the wake of merger talks between Zomato and Swiggy, whoch both the companies have denied to date.