Deliveroo: A winning recipe for food delivery
The brand’s audacious plans for expansion and its vision to dominate the food delivery space…
When you first look at Deliveroo, it resembles any other food-delivery portal. Naturally, food delivery isn’t a novel concept. It enables its customers to choose from a network of restaurants, place an order and get food delivered instantly. So, what makes Deliveroo so appealing to its customers? Well, here’s the catch: the platform offers great restaurant food from local partners to customers in just 32 minutes or less, using a fleet of couriers that travel on bicycle, motorbike or on foot. It is this differentiating factor that has propelled Deliveroo from a start-up to a global phenomenon.
The brand currently works with over 20,000 best-loved restaurants as well as over 30,000 riders to provide the best food delivery experience in the world. Headquartered in London, the company has more than 1,000 employees in offices around the globe. It operates in over 130 cities across 12 countries including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. And, all this started when ardent entrepreneur Will Shu noticed a gap in the delivery market back in 2013.
“Deliveroo’s mission is to create the best food delivery experience in the world, and we start by seeking out the best restaurant partners in each of the 130+ cities that we operate in. Our platform provides a seamless user experience; customers love the transparency of tracking their order from the restaurant to their door in just 32 minutes or less. Additionally, our customer service platform is second to none – it is one of the things that really helps our retention,” Anis Harb, General Manager, Deliveroo GCC, says explaining the brand’s proposition.
The food delivery market has been really hyped over the last few years. Yet, plenty of investors are willing to back up Deliveroo’s vision. Shortly after its inception, Deliveroo’s rock solid business model and rapidly growing customer base began attracting the attention of global investors. In June 2014, the company got US$4.5mn in Series A funding led by JamJar Investment with participation from Index Ventures and Hoxton Ventures. This was followed by: Series B funding of US$25mn in January 2015 led by Accel with participation from Index Ventures, Hoxton Ventures and Hummingbird Ventures; Series C funding of US$70mn in July 2015 led by Greenoaks Capital and Index Ventures with participation from Accel and Hoxton Ventures; Series D funding of US$100mn in November 2015 led by DST Global and Greenoaks Capital with participation from Accel and Hummingbird Ventures; and finally Series E funding of US$275mn in August 2016 led by Bridgepoint, DST Global and General Catalyst and with participation from Greenoaks Capital.
A BUMPY RIDE
Deliveroo has fantastic investors on board, loyal customers to cater to and employees that are proud to be part of the company. With all the right boxes ticked, is there anything that worries Anis Harb at night? What is the biggest challenge? “One of the areas we’re constantly focusing our efforts on is planning for growth. We grew very quickly over the past 12 months and had to continuously make decisions based on our forecasts. Sometimes we over hired, sometimes we under hired. We even moved offices twice. Planning and adjusting to our speedy growth over the last 12 months has been quite a task. Also, when you are expanding so rapidly, you have to adapt to the needs of the local market. Every country is different. The Middle East, for instance, has different legal regulations and varying consumer tastes. How you target the consumers in the Middle East differs from one local market to the next, and the brand you build becomes unique in every country,” he explains. A large part of the ability to combat these challenges hinges on the company’s team. Anis acknowledges that: “We’ve overcome this challenge by building more robust business models, which increased our confidence to suit our rapid growth rate. More importantly, we’ve built a great team: one that works very hard and works well together. My staff members truly define ‘teamwork.’ They are hardworking and effortlessly talented; this has taken Deliveroo to new heights!”
With new, faster apps being introduced in the market every day, Anis realises the need to continually innovate and expand. “We are focused on growing our business in the region. We launched in Abu Dhabi at the end of Q4 2016, and the market is growing quickly. We have some collaborations coming up with local and international partners for which we are quite excited!” He adds: “Moreover, technology is also playing a major role in boosting our growth. We recently hired 300 new employees in our London office to solely focus on technology and we are continuously working to improve Deliveroo’s experience across the board, which includes our participating restaurants, our riders and of course, our customers. With more competition in the market, food delivery apps will find ways to become increasingly efficient. We are also anticipating improvements across packaging, speed of deliveries and options available for consumers as new technologies such as “dark kitchens” become available.”
He adds: “Moreover, technology is also playing a major role in boosting our growth. We recently hired 300 new employees in our London office to solely focus on technology and we are continuously working to improve Deliveroo’s experience across the board, which includes our participating restaurants, our riders and of course, our customers. With more competition in the market, food delivery apps will find ways to become increasingly efficient. We are also anticipating improvements across packaging, speed of deliveries and options available for consumers as new technologies such as “dark kitchens” become available.”