Indian food delivery startup Swiggy raises $210M at a $1.3B valuation

India’s food delivery race is hotting up after Swiggy, one of the startups vying for pole position, landed $210 million in new capital for expansion and joined the billion-dollar startup unicorn club. The investment is led by existing backer Naspers, the media conglomerate famous for an early bet on Tencent in China, and new investor DST Global. Others taking part in the round include returning investor China’s Meituan Dianping and (another new investor) Coatue Management. The deal takes Swiggy’s valuation past the $1 billion mark for the first, with sources close to the company confirming that the deal values the company at around $1.3 billion. That’s perhaps not a tonne of surprise around today’s announcement since it has been rumored in Indian press for some time, with Economic Times first reporting on it in April. This Series G investment comes just months after Naspers and Meituan Dianping invested $100
Continue reading "Indian food delivery startup Swiggy raises $210M at a $1.3B valuation"

Deliveroo fattens its market presence by opening to restaurants that do deliveries

Restaurant food delivery startup Deliveroo is taking the next logical step to expand its business by opening up to restaurants that have their own delivery fleets — thereby also expanding the food choices it can offer its couch-loving users. Next month the company will launch the new service, called Marketplace+, in seven of its markets — onboarding restaurants that do their own food deliveries to its platform, and offering them the ability to tap into Deliveroo’s network of riders to extend their delivery services and support faster delivery times if they choose (it says restaurants will be able to “choose for themselves how best to offer delivery” but the impact on, for example, existing delivery fleet staff employed by larger food chains remains to be seen). Commenting on the launch in a statement, Deliveroo CEO and co-founder Will Shu said: “Today we are unveiling the next big step in
Continue reading "Deliveroo fattens its market presence by opening to restaurants that do deliveries"

Ride-hailing firm Grab launches new venture to back startups in Southeast Asia

Grab, the ride-hailing firm that acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia business, is aiming to catalyze the early-stage startup scene in Southeast Asia after it launched an accelerator and investment unit called Grab Ventures. The six-year-old company has already made investments and acquisitions — backing startups like Drive.ai and buying Indonesia’s Kudo and India-based iKaaz — and Grab Ventures will build on that by making 8-10 investments over the coming 24 month period, but it is also offering different kind of support. The firm will offer an accelerator program for “growth-stage” companies and play a hand incubating new services inside Grab, according to Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures. That accelerator effort — called ‘Velocity’ — will launch its first intake before the end of the year with around four to six companies per batch. “It’s time for us to reflect on the tremendous support we’ve seen over the years and give
Continue reading "Ride-hailing firm Grab launches new venture to back startups in Southeast Asia"

Food delivery’s untapped opportunity

Investors may have already placed their orders in the consumer food delivery space, but there’s still a missing recipe for solving the over $250 billion business-to-business foodservice distribution problem that’s begging for venture firms to put more cooks in the kitchen.  Stock prices for Sysco and US Foods, the two largest food distributors, are up by over 20% since last summer when Amazon bought Whole Foods. But, these companies haven’t made any material changes to their business model to counteract the threat of Amazon. I know a thing or two about the food services industry and the need for a B2B marketplace in an industry ripe with all of our favorite buzz words: fragmentation, last mile logistics and a lack of pricing transparency.

The business-to-business food
Continue reading "Food delivery’s untapped opportunity"

South African tech and media conglomerate Naspers made $2.2 billion from Flipkart sale

Naspers, the South African tech and media conglomerate, continues to have an incredibly hot hand when it comes to global tech investment. Famous for owning a huge chunk of the Chinese Internet powerhouse, Tencent and a big chunk of Mail.ruNaspers just made $2.2 billion off of the sale of Flipkart to Walmart The South African company had an 11.18% stake in Flipkart and the sale represents an IRR of 32%, the company said. Naspers originally backed Flipkart five years after the company’s launch in 2007 and had invested roughly $616 million into the company since that time. Naspers said that proceeds from the sale of Flipkart would be funneled back into the company’s balance sheet to fuel the growth of the company’s own classifieds, online food delivery, and fintech businesses globally. With Flipkart out of the portfolio, Naspers still holds a huge chunk
Continue reading "South African tech and media conglomerate Naspers made $2.2 billion from Flipkart sale"

Domino’s will now deliver to 150,000 parks, pools and other non-traditional locations

Domino’s will now deliver your pizza to the beach – well, sort of! Or the park, the sports field, that one gas station down the road, or some notable landmark in your city where it will be easy for your delivery driver to find you, among other places. The company announced today the launch of over 150,000 “Domino’s Hotspots,” which are locations that don’t have a traditional delivery address, like a home or business address. Instead, hotspots are just places where customers can meet up with their driver to accept a delivery order, when they’re not at home or work. But while the headlines proclaim Domino’s is coming to you at the beach or park, don’t expect the delivery driver to traipse across the hot sand to your towel or down a walking path into the woods – there are limits to how off-the-grid these deliveries will go. Instead, “beach”
Continue reading "Domino’s will now deliver to 150,000 parks, pools and other non-traditional locations"

YC alum Dahmakan, a Kuala Lumpur-based food delivery startup, acquires Polpa to expand into Thailand

Dahmakan, a vertically-integrated Malaysian meal delivery startup, announced today that it has acquired Polpa to enter Bangkok. Dahmakan was the first Malaysian startup to participate in Y Combinator and recently received a $2.6 million round of funding earmarked for its expansion into new markets. The company, which was launched in 2015 by former Rocket Internet executives, says it now delivers tens of thousands of meals each month in Kuala Lumpur, where it is based, and Bangkok. Co-founder and chief executive officer Jonathan Weins told TechCrunch that Dahmakan plans to venture into other Southeast Asian markets first, including Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong and Manila, before tackling East Asian countries like Japan and Korea. Polpa was founded in 2014 by Julian Timings and Prongfa Uennatornaranggoon, who will join Dahmakan’s team. Polpa will continue to operate under its own brand in Bangkok. “Polpa has incredible founders and we have been in
Continue reading "YC alum Dahmakan, a Kuala Lumpur-based food delivery startup, acquires Polpa to expand into Thailand"

Square has acquired a 32-year-old restaurant delivery company

 Square has acquired Entrees On-Trays, a 32-year-old restaurant delivery platform. The plan is to expand the footprint of its on-demand food delivery service, Caviar, in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. There were a few factors Square took into consideration in its acquisition of Entrees On-Trays, Caviar product lead Gokul Rajaram told TechCrunch via email. For one, the acquisition is designed… Read More

Robomart is the latest startup to try and unseat the local convenience store

 The startup assault on the humble neighborhood store continues to intensify. First came Bodega, the terribly named, and mostly misguided startup with its mission to bring the non-perishable necessities available at the corner store to the masses and “disrupt” the corner store. Now there’s Robomart, which wants to bring the groceries, baked goods and prepared foods of the… Read More

Malaysia’s Dahmakan chows down $2.6M for its end-to-end food delivery service

 Dahmakan, a food delivery startup from Malaysia that graduated Y Combinator last year, has raised $2.6 million as it begins to explore the potential to expand its business across Southeast Asia. The startup distinguishes itself from the likes of FoodPanda and Deliveroo with an “end-to-end” approach to food, that’s to say that it cooks all dishes itself and dispatches them… Read More

Uber rival Ola buys Foodpanda India to get into food deliveries

 Ola, the Uber rival in India, is entering the food delivery space after it announced a deal to acquire Foodpanda’s India business from its parent company DeliveryHero. The deal will see Ola scoop up the Foodpanda India business with DeliveryHero taking an undisclosed amount of Ola stock in exchange. Undisclosed all-stock deals are usually indicative of a willingness to sell, and we… Read More

Groupon adds ad exec Steve Krenzer as new COO, sold assets to Grubhub for $20M

 Groupon, the local deals platform, reported Q3 earnings today that provided more details on how it is restructuring its business; and it also took the moment to announce that it has finally appointed a new COO, a role that has been vacant for the last two years. Steve Krenzer, who had been the CEO of direct-ad specialist Core Digital Media, is taking on the role, the first time Groupon has had… Read More

Trademarks show Amazon has sights on meal-kits, “single cow burgers” and other fast food options

 Amazon has made no secret of its ambitions to expand into more fresh food services, from its own, homegrown efforts like AmazonFresh for groceries (first launched in 2013) and Amazon Restaurants for restaurant delivery (first launched in 2014), through to its most recent plan to acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. In fact, the company has its sights set on a number of other culinary areas,… Read More

Trademarks show Amazon has sights on meal-kits, “single cow burgers” and other fast food options

 Amazon has made no secret of its ambitions to expand into more fresh food services, from its own, homegrown efforts like AmazonFresh for groceries (first launched in 2013) and Amazon Restaurants for restaurant delivery (first launched in 2014), through to its most recent plan to acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. In fact, the company has its sights set on a number of other culinary areas,… Read More

Blue Apron will raise $587M in its IPO, valuing itself close to $3B

 Blue Apron, the meal ingredient delivery service that filed to go public earlier this month, has just priced its IPO. The company will price its shares between $15-$17, hoping to raise a maximum of $586,500,000. Using a $16 midpoint, this pricing gives the company a proposed valuation of just under $3 billion. The company will be listed on the NYSE under the symbol “APRN”, and… Read More

JoyRun, a food delivery app with a twist, raises $8.5 million

 A Santa Clara, Calif. startup called JoyRun has raised about $10 million in Series A and seed funding for its peer-to-peer food and drinks delivery app. Floodgate led the $8.5 million Series A round in JoyRun, and Norwest Venture Partners led the company’s earlier $1.3 million seed round. Other investors joining both rounds included: Visionnaire Ventures, Morado Ventures, CrunchFund… Read More

JoyRun, a food delivery app with a twist, raises $8.5 million

 A Santa Clara, Calif. startup called JoyRun has raised about $10 million in Series A and seed funding for its peer-to-peer food and drinks delivery app. Floodgate led the $8.5 million Series A round in JoyRun, and Norwest Venture Partners led the company’s earlier $1.3 million seed round. Other investors joining both rounds included: Visionnaire Ventures, Morado Ventures, CrunchFund… Read More