About Swiggy

Founded in 2014, Swiggy is India's leading on-demand convenience platform with a vision to elevate the quality of life for the urban consumer by offering unparalleled convenience. It connects consumers to over 290,000 restaurant partners in over 600 cities.

Swiggy's quick commerce grocery service Instamart is present in over 25 cities. Their latest addition, Dineout, offers users experiences in high-use categories like dining out and events in 34 cities across the country.

Using innovative technology, Swiggy provides a hassle-free, fast, and reliable delivery experience. Every order delivered by Swiggy's delivery executives, ensures a host of customer-centric features like lightning-fast delivery, no minimum order value, live order tracking, and 24/7 customer support.

This case study explores how Swiggy partnered with ImageKit to scale media delivery, enhance user experience, and drive operational efficiency.


Early on, Swiggy operated only in the major metro cities in India. A significant portion of user traffic in these cities was on mobile devices connected to high-speed Wi-Fi connections. The optimization of media content, primarily images, was not a huge concern.

In the last 4 to 5 years, Swiggy's footprint expanded into 500+ tier II and III cities in India. It has recorded a 50x surge in the app traffic and a 10x rise in the number of orders serviced. Additionally, Swiggy expanded into quick-commerce grocery delivery with Instamart and introduced experiential offerings like dining out and events through Dineout across various cities, amongst other new offerings.

This expansion, however, made the media experience a more significant point to address in the app experience. Swiggy users increasingly started using mobile networks that traditionally have flakier network speeds. A quick load time was of paramount importance. With multiple business verticals, Swiggy also had to work on developing richer media experiences, with videos and animations, that are not just uniform and personalized for the end user but are also easy to develop and maintain for internal teams.

Challenges faced by Swiggy

Before ImageKit, Swiggy had adopted a US-based third-party SaaS solution to help with media management and optimization. However, as the business scaled, it encountered several challenges with its existing media delivery solution.

  • Difficulty identifying media delivery issues: Each business unit inside Swiggy had multiple teams responsible for creating and delivering images and videos on its apps, all accessing the same portal provided by the third-party solution provider. With a large tech team, each using diverse tech stacks for their respective business units, and with the lack of granular analytics, it became difficult to identify the root cause of the issue.
  • Slow Support Response from Existing Provider: Operating at Swiggy's scale of millions of daily users requires swift support from solution providers. However, Swiggy often had to wait for hours to receive a first response from its solution partner, and that, too, in many cases, would end up being very generic and lacking the technical depth to resolve the query.
  • Cost Inefficiency: The solution partner's billing structure also posed challenges. Any new optimization for new devices coming on board, new image and video formats being introduced, or experiments with a new content format at Swiggy's scale would raise their costs significantly.
  • Limited Adoption of Advanced Features: Despite paying a high cost for using the solution every month and significant time investment, Swiggy could not utilize the solution provider's solution completely. For one, many features bundled into their pricing were not valuable in Swiggy's context. Second, these features did not align with the core media optimization requirements - a more comprehensive format and device support - without increasing their costs.

The team started looking for other solutions. But there was another catch. With the existing solution provider already integrated deep into its apps over several years, migrating from it, especially in the older app versions, had to be seamless.

ImageKit’s solution

Here's how ImageKit emerged as an ideal solution partner for Swiggy, addressing the challenges faced:

  • Migration as simple as a domain name change: The key simplification in Swiggy's case was ImageKit's URL Rewriter, which internally translates third-party transformation parameters into equivalent ImageKit transformation parameters before delivering the output file. This ensures no URL parameter changes are needed to get the same output media file. By combining this with custom domain names and multiple URL endpoints in ImageKit, migration was simplified to only changing the domain name in the URL, making tech teams' tasks much more straightforward.
  • Separate sub-accounts for each business unit: ImageKit enabled Swiggy to create multiple sub-accounts under the same parent account. Each sub-account acts like a new ImageKit account with a separate login, media storage, configurations, access controls, and media analytics. The parent account is used primarily only for billing. This account structure provided granular analytics and better debugging to each team. It also enhanced security by segregating the Swiggy team's access to configurations and media storage at a business-unit level instead of sharing a common third-party portal earlier.
Screenshot of Swiggy's rich media notifications
Rich media notifications sent by the Marketing team
  • Dedicated support engineers on a modern support channel: ImageKit offers customized support Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and support channels for enterprise clients. It also offers direct access to actual engineers who understand the technology and can solve queries instead of routing queries via generic Level 1 support. Slack was the common platform where tech and creative teams from Swiggy and solution architects from ImageKit interacted to address any challenges during the migration.
  • Integrated DAM and support for external storage: ImageKit enables businesses to integrate with external storage like AWS S3 or use its Digital Asset Management (DAM) to store images, videos, and other web assets. Swiggy uses both. The DAM provides a user-friendly media management platform for marketing and creative teams, whereas the external storage integration allows each business unit's cloud storage to be connected to ImageKit. This approach frees the tech team from re-hosting or optimizing high-res marketing assets in the DAM. It enables optimized delivery from the DAM and external storage connected to ImageKit.
  • Better performance with modern format support and original file caching: Swiggy leveraged automatic AVIF and WebM conversion. ImageKit automatically optimizes files to these new formats on supported devices without any code change, resulting in smaller file sizes and faster load times. ImageKit also enabled a unique solution that stores not just the final optimized variants in its cache but also maintains a copy of the original assets on access. This copy reduces data transfer from the external origin and faster processing time for new transformations.

Implementation and results

A significant change like migrating to ImageKit, which impacts millions of Swiggy users, must be thoroughly tested for functionality and performance before going live. Throughout the pilot phase, Swiggy conducted a rigorous assessment of ImageKit's capabilities with real app users before the full roll-out and found it to excel on key performance indicators.

  • ImageKit was able to reduce the output file size more than what was achieved with the previous third-party provider while maintaining output visual quality.
  • The cache hit ratio on the CDN integrated with ImageKit improved compared to the third-party provider. With original file caching also in place, media load times and end-user experience improved across all platforms.
  • Most importantly, the final output transformations worked and looked as they did earlier.

No code change, but a much better experience!

“Having access to individual sub-accounts for each business unit has been a game-changer. It allows our teams to try out new ideas quickly and keep track of how our media is performing. If there's a problem with optimization in any business unit, we can address it promptly. The Analytics section in the ImageKit dashboard also helps identify optimization opportunities which helps us stay on top of delivering rich media experiences to all our users.”
Farhan Rasheed, Engineering Manager, Swiggy

Following the successful completion of the pilot phase, Swiggy transitioned media delivery for all its business verticals to ImageKit, reaping numerous benefits:

  • Improved Efficiency and Cost Savings: With ImageKit, Swiggy significantly optimized bandwidth consumption, slashing it by over 20%, resulting in substantial cost savings.
  • Better performance across all platforms: Swiggy observed significant performance improvements by seamlessly transitioning to modern formats like AVIF and WebM.
    - 30% lighter images with AVIF resulted in an average 21% reduction in image load time.
    - WebM format resulted in an average reduction of 42% in video load times on Swiggy apps.
GIF showcasing faster load time of optimised media with ImageKit.
Quicker app load time with modern media formats.
  • Enhanced Analytics and Monitoring: ImageKit's detailed analytics section in each sub-account gave teams invaluable insights into media delivery trends, optimization opportunities, and errors observed for each business unit.
  • No accidental usage spikes: With format optimization and compression turned on by default for all files and safeguards such as automatic device-based size limits, Swiggy ensured bandwidth consumption would not spike suddenly, allowing marketing and creative teams to upload high-resolution assets in various formats for their work.
Same image delivered in different sizes basis network conditions.
Same image loaded in different sizes based on device requirements and the user's network condition.


Through its partnership with ImageKit, Swiggy not only tackled its media delivery challenges but also elevated user experience, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness to new heights. This successful collaboration is a testament to the significance of choosing the right technology partner to drive business growth and innovation amidst the dynamic and ever-evolving market landscape.

If your company faces a similar challenge and wants to improve its media management, optimization and delivery, with minimal effort, reach out to us at support@imagekit.io for a quick consultation session. You can also try out the product by creating a free account here.