Foodpanda buys Delivery.com's HK business

Foodpanda's Singapore office.
Foodpanda's Singapore office. PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

FRANKFURT (REUTERS) - Online takeaway delivery firm Foodpanda is acquiring the Hong Kong assets of US-based Delivery.com as it consolidates its position in key markets while shedding assets elsewhere.

Founded in 2012, Berlin-based Foodpanda expanded rapidly worldwide through nine acquisitions fuelled by US$310 million in capital it raised in six tranches, as online takeaway food startups enjoyed a frenzy of funding.

Foodpanda, which is 49 per cent owned by German emerging market e-commerce investor Rocket Internet, was active in up to 40 markets a year ago but has pared this back to focus on 24 markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

It split off its 10-country Africa business and last month sold its Latin American operations to UK rival Just-Eat.

The merger of Foodpanda with Delivery.com, which focused from the start on takeaway food delivery for office workers, promises to beef up Foodpanda's corporate business.

"Foodpanda and delivery.com Hong Kong were the first two entrants in this market and working together we will continue to solidify a position of leadership," Didier Bensadoun, president of Delivery.com Hong Kong, said in a statement on Friday (March 18).

The move shows that online food delivery is moving into a phase of consolidation and cost control amid a wider retreat in venture backing after a wave of costly, pell-mell acquisitions.

Foodpanda entered the teeming Hong Kong takeaway market in 2014, around the same time Delivery.com arrived. It subsequently bought up other local delivery startups Koziness and Dial a Dinner.

No financial terms of these deals were disclosed by Foodpanda, whose last funding round of US$100 million was led by Goldman Sachs in May of last year.

The Hong Kong sale lets New York-based Delivery.com refocus on its home market, where it is active in dozens of US cities.