Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
FoodPanda, the Rocket Internet-backed food delivery service, has expanded its footprint into 12 new markets, taking the service to a total of 23 countries worldwide. The company also has a new global MD and is in the process of raising funding for a global rollout, in true Rocket Internet fashion.
Of the new launches China (1.3 billion population), Russia (141 million) and Brazil (193 million) stand out in particular since these markets account for a huge number of people. Plus they are countries where Internet activity is growing at a fast clip, spurred on by mobile. Food Panda is similar to Delivery Hero, but with a focus on emerging markets.
The service is a little different to other ventures supported by Rocket Internet in so much that it is primarily focused on upcoming countries, and that includes some of the less likely ones at that. FoodPand’s list of new expansions includes: the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Poland and Senegal. The service is active in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and it has made co-founder Ralf Wenzel its new global managing director to further its global footprint.
With news of the new appointment comes word that FoodPanda is actively raising funds for a larger global rollout…no big surprise, this is Rocket Internet we’re talking about. But given some of the astronomical deals we’ve seen for food related sites — last year saw Just-Eat raise $62 million and Lieferando raise $18.8 million — we’ll watch this space with interest. Unlike its peers, FoodPanda is focused on untapped markets. While there’s plenty of potential for a first mover, it isn’t clear whether investors will put up cash for that given the lower value of average deals, lack of infrastructure, etc.
Going on Rocket Internet’s recent deals in South Asia, it looks like a definite possibility. The German incubator has attracted hundreds of millions for its e-commerce startups from a roster of regular backers — which includes JP Morgan — so it will be interesting to see which companies get involved in the impending FoodPanda round.
Of his new role and the expansion, Wenzel — formerly Group Chief Operating Officer with online payment firm Skrill, and a senior executive with Jamster before that — says:
I am happy to be part of this growth story and we are looking forward to expanding this success on a global scale. We have built strong relationships with thousands of partners, including the best restaurants in every country. We see an impressive demand for food ordering online user-friendly, fast and most convenient.
FoodPanda aims to bridge the gap between restaurants and Internet-users by offering its visitors a selection of different types of foods — it lists salads, vegetables, pizza, burger and sushi, as examples — which they can purchase and have delivered with the click of a button.
Following today’s news, Food Panda is active in the following countries: Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Russia, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, Senegal, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Pakistan.
Headline image via Thinkstock
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