Rocket invests €496m in food delivery start-ups – next frontier of e-commerce

6 Feb 2015

Berlin-based Rocket Internet is investing €496m for a 30pc stake in Delivery Hero and has acquired seven other food delivery companies. It says food delivery is the next frontier of e-commerce.

Food as well as fashion are viewed by Rocket Internet as the key hotpoints of e-commerce over the next decade.

As well as the 30pc stake in Delivery Hero, Rocket acquired a 100pc stake in Southern European takeaway companies Le Nevera Roja in Spain and Pizzabo in Italy for undisclosed sums.

Rocket-owned FoodPanda currently is a market leader in India and across Asia and counts the largest number of online food delivery orders in the world outside of China. Last year FoodPanda took over JustEat’s India operations.

Rocket will create a new Global Online Takeaway Group, combining its stake in FoodPanda and the newly acquired stake in Delivery Hero as well as Le Nevera Roja and Pizzabo.

Global Online Takeaway Group is now present in 64 countries and works with 140,000 restaurants and processes 78m orders a year.

As well as creating the new division Rocket has invested €130m in HelloFresh, a subscription-based grocery e-commerce company, increasing Rocket’s stake to 52pc.

Blasting off into the e-commerce stratosphere

Last year Rocket Internet consolidated five of its emerging fashion brands into one US$3.5bn (€2.7bn) entity called Global Fashion Group.

Publicly-listed Rocket, which was established by three brothers Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer in 2007, has actively incubated numerous technology companies and fosters ambitions to become as big as Amazon in the US or Alibaba in China.

Its mission statement reads: “to become the world’s largest internet platform outside the United States and China”.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity in the global food and groceries sector with its tremendous market potential and the prospects of our two market leaders HelloFresh and our newly created Global Online Takeaway Group which combines unique companies to the leading global group in the online food takeaway sector,” said Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet.

“Our investments in the past months and the performance of our Proven Winners clearly demonstrate and further strengthen our deep confidence in the long-term success of the business models we launch and operate.”

Online takeout image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years