Deliveroo, the on-demand startup that offers food delivery from premium restaurants that don’t traditionally offer a take-out service, appears to be on somewhat of a roll. It was just two months ago that the company announced it had expanded to Paris, Berlin and Dublin, in addition to the 18 or so towns and cities in the U.K. it currently serves. And today Deliveroo is disclosing $70 million in new funding, money it plans to use for further international expansion.
The Series C round was led by U.S.-based Greenoaks Capital and London’s Index Ventures, while existing investors Accel and Hoxton Ventures also participated. It follows a $25 million Series B announced in January and brings total funding for the 2013-founded company to approximately $100 million.
“We’ve made significant traction in the markets that we’ve entered; people really want great food delivered quickly to them,” Deliveroo co-founder and CEO William Shu tells TechCrunch. “And because of that we’ve elected to open ourselves up for investment and really accelerate the growth in many developed economies, and that includes a lot of the cities in Western Europe, Southern Europe and Central Europe, as well as the Gulf states and Asia”.
Along with setting up shop in new European, Middle Eastern and Asian cities — including recruiting a local fleet of drivers and cyclists to service the premium restaurants who sign up to its logistics platform and consumer-facing app — Shu says Deliveroo plans to spend more heavily on marketing, something that has been limited until now.
Instead the startup has been relying largely on word-of-mouth (you can’t help but notice the Deliveroo logo on motorbikes speeding around Central London, for example) and offline channels such as delivering leaflets locally.
“We want to be more aggressive but at the same time spend that money intelligently,” he says. This will include more investment in online marketing channels, as well as traditional billboard advertising, which the company starting playing with in June.
Also don’t rule out a TV ad campaign in the future, something that more startups in the U.K. seem to be getting into once the VC dollars flow. “It makes sense one we’re in a certain coverage level. If you’re in every market in the U.K. that we want to be, I think we can start thinking about that,” says Shu.
Finally, Deliveroo plans to increase headcount, not only recruiting general managers for the new countries it will be expanding to, but also across product and engineering. That’s because the startup is a technology play as much as it is a delivery company, including building its own logistics platform that ensures food doesn’t turn up cold and couriers arrive ‘just in time’ and aren’t clogging up restaurant reception areas waiting for the food to be prepared.
Or as a person familiar with the on-demand premium restaurant delivery sector recently told me, “this is more UPS 2.0 than it is Just Eat 2.0. A lot of what happens is behind the scenes and is about logistics – getting something from A to B in the most efficient way possible.”
That also echoes the business model of DineIn, which is offering its platform as a SaaS solution for other companies that face similar logistical problems surrounding delivery.
Meanwhile, although Shu is hesitant to talk about competitors, preferring to focus on Deliveroo and pleasing customers, he describes Rocket Internet, who recently invested in Take Eat Easy and then subsequently acquired Germany’s Volo, as “formidable competitors” in different industries, not least with their focus on the food market. “We are gonna be aware of what others are doing but we’re not going to let them dictate what we do,” he adds.