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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Food delivery service Deliveroo aims to expand in Dubai

In the emirate, it has about 400 restaurants and 300 riders on its books.
Bikers working for food delivery service Deliveroo enter a restaurant to pick up meals they will deliver. AFP
Bikers working for food delivery service Deliveroo enter a restaurant to pick up meals they will deliver. AFP

London-based food delivery service Deliveroo expects to invest in a remote kitchen service in Dubai and expand across the emirate following its latest round of fundraising, a regional company official said yesterday.

Last week it raised $275 million from London-based private equity investor Bridgepoint, existing investor DST Global, US-based venture capital firm General Catalyst and US-based investment firm Greenoaks Capital.

Since its fundraising in Nov­ember when it raised $100m, Deliveroo has launched in 29 cities, including Dubai in December. In the emirate, it has about 400 restaurants and 300 riders on its books.

By the end of the year, Deliveroo expects to be in Abu Dhabi. Yesterday, it launched in Dubai’s Mirdif, Rashidiya and the Festival City areas.

“We are not yet in Deira or Ghusais, the old Dubai areas, and we want to expand there,” said Anis Harb, the regional general manager for Deliveroo.

He declined to give investment figures for the UAE.

With the new funds, the company is exploring opportunities to set up remote kitchens called RooBox in Dubai, where multiple restaurant partners can cook for deliveries only, and Deliveroo can deliver to nearby areas.

In Dubai, the areas would include Sports City, ­Motor City, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Al Quoz and Satwa, which all have a high residential footprint.

At present only Deliveroo’s London market has RooBox, where there are eight remote kitchens.

The company is also investing in map data that allows it to loc­ate a consumer’s address in a city where streets are unnamed or do not have a pin code.

Food delivery is a competitive segment in Dubai, with dozens of companies delivering food from restaurants. India’s restaurant aggregator Zomato launched its online ordering services last September.

Last year, online food delivery company foodpanda fully acquired 24h.ae, another food delivery business.

The UAE food and beverage sector is expected to touch US$13.2 billion in terms of revenues in 2018, up from an estimated $12.2bn this year, according to a KPMG report citing Euromonitor research from last year. Outlets are expected to grow to 15,400 in 2018, up from 14,700 this year.

More than 60 per cent of consumers order takeaway at least once a week, the KPMG report said.

“Our delivery time is 30 minutes to 32 minutes in Dubai. Before Deliveroo was launched, the average food delivery was 45 minutes to 50 minutes,” according to Mr Harb. “[Now with the investment] we are trying to offer 20-minute lunch.”

Since its November fundraising, Deliveroo has added 9,000 new restaurant partners globally, and created jobs for 6,500 riders for breakfast, lunch and corporate orders.

Entrepreneurs Will Shu and Greg Orlowski started the company in 2013. It now operates in 84 cities in 12 countries.

ssahoo@thenational.ae

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