How much money does it take to compete with Uber? That’s the question The New York Times (NYT) raises in an article today: “Deliveroo, a food delivery start-up based in London, is about to find out after it raised $275 million on Friday to take the company’s fund-raising to almost half a billion dollars since it was founded in 2012.”
With the latest funding Deliveroo enters into the so-called ‘unicorn’-club of privately held companies around the world with valuations exceeding $1 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s fund-raising who spoke to the NYT on the condition of anonymity. Deliveroo helps restaurants take orders and deliver food with a few swipes on a smartphone.
It also gives Deliveroo increased financial firepower to keep Uber at bay. Uber recently started offering UberEats, a food delivery operation, in a small number of European cities. In US cities the company has been active with UberEats for a longer period. That pits Uber directly against Deliveroo, whose operations now extend across 12 countries, mostly in Europe.
“There’s a reason why some of the big players are now entering into this market,” Will Shu, an American former investment banker who helped found Deliveroo, said in an interview with the Times. When it comes to the online food delivery market, he added: “We’re no longer in the first inning, but we’re nowhere near the ninth inning, either.”