The premium take-out space in Europe continues to heat up as a number of startups target parts of the market that Just Eat, Foodpanda and Delivery Hero aren’t yet catering. Namely, food delivery from premium restaurants that don’t traditionally offer a take-out and delivery service.
The best funded is the U.K.’s Deliveroo, which earlier this year raised a $25 million Series B round led by Accel Partners — money it pegged for European expansion. Today the London-headquartered startup is making good on that promise, launching the service in Paris and Berlin, following a quiet launch in Dublin earlier this week.
“Berlin and Paris have the combination of elements we look for in new markets — high population density, affluence and quality restaurants — and were natural choices for our first international launches,” says Deliveroo CEO and co-founder William Shu. “In addition, they are large capital cities that serve as a logical beachhead for further expansion.”
That logic seems sound, but also comes into sharp focus when we factor in recent moves by Rocket Internet in the premium restaurant delivery space.
Just last week the German ‘startup factory’ and e-commerce behemoth disclosed that it had invested in Take Eat Easy, which is active in Belgium and France, and then subsequently announced that it had acquired Germany’s Volo, which recently expanded to Berlin.
That means, in addition to a plethora of, albeit less well-funded, competitors in London and the wider U.K., Deliveroo will face stiff competition in its new European markets of Paris and Berlin.
Curiously, despite both of their ties to Rocket Internet, Take Eat Easy and Volo appear to be on a path to competing with each other.
On the topic of competitors, Shu tells me that “competition validates that you’re tackling an important market.”
“There’s a big opportunity for consistent, quality delivery, which our traction in the U.K. alone to date illustrates. We plan to stay focused on building the best food delivery company in the world,” he says.
Oh, and before you ask, I’m told Shu still gets on his push-bike for a few hours every week to carry out deliveries.