Startup introduces 'Drive Groceries'

April 19, 2020

Can't go out to buy groceries, or would you rather practice social distancing? Business incubator, Drive, recently introduced "Drive Groceries", to help Metro Manila residents particularly at this time of the enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019.

Formerly called "Drive Manila", this startup used to offer car rental services.

In March 29, it started a trial run of a grocery delivery service.

Drive is a business incubatee of the University of the Philippines - Diliman's UPSCALE Innovation Hub, which is being supported by the Department of Science and Technology.

"UPSCALE is one of the technology business incubators under the DoST's TBI 4.0 Program.

The goal of the program is to upgrade their capabilities to be at par with foreign incubators," Raissa Ancheta, DoST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development information officer, said.

She added that UPSCALE's grant from DoST amounted to more than P14.8 million for two years.

In another message, Josemaria Bassig, UPSCALE operations associate, explained that Drive Groceries provides an online order form via its Facebook page.

"(One) can go to their Facebook page and download an order form in Excel file. The form contains some essential grocery items and their corresponding prices. If the item is not there, (he/she) can add it in the (Excel) table with the estimated prices," he said.

“Customers pay a corresponding service fee and delivery fee, depending on the estimated total cost," he added.

Once the list is completed, customers may send it to drivegroceriesph@gmail.com. They can also leave a message through the Facebook page, to let them know the form was already sent.

"They (Drive) will connect with a grocer, and inform the customer if someone is available. Once (order is) confirmed, the grocer (will) shop the next day. Unlike online grocery delivery apps, the grocers will actually do their best to find all the items in the order form," Basig said.

He added that grocers would  also contact the customers if the items are available, or if they would want to replace these with something else.

Delivery is usually made on the same day, and full payment is via bank deposit or GCash, he said.