UK-based Just-Eat bags $64M for food delivery service

Krystal Peak · April 30, 2012 · Short URL:

Vitruvian Partners leads third round of funding as Just-Eat exceeds $90M in revenue

UK-based online food ordering site, Just-Eat, has picked up its third round of funding despite the continued concerns over the recession in Europe -- not bad. The $64 million round is its biggest yet, and brings the total amount raised for the company to $129.4 million.

This round was led by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, with participation from existing investors Index Ventures, Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures. The investment comes just a year after it raised a venture round of $48 million.

Just-Eat stated that it will be using the money to expand into more markets outside of its current 13 countries in Europe.

Just-Eat, launched in Denmark in 2001, is based in London and delivers more than 100,000 meals a day. Since launch, it has fulfilled more than 30 million orders and has generated in excess of $750 million in revenue per year for the restaurant industry -- which roughly equates to a company revenue of somewhere near $90 million for the year.

"Takeaway e-commerce has massive growth potential, and Just-Eat is at the forefront of changing the way people order food around the world," said CEO of Just-Eat, Klaus Nyengaard, in a statement. 

The company takes an 11% commission on all orders placed through the site, and has a 40% pretax profit margin in its most developed markets like the UK and Denmark.

Back in October, we reported that Just-Eat had acquired UK-based online takeout service Urbanbite.  Just-Eat said that it was drawn to Urbanbite's corporate business, which runs a program that allows corporate employees to place large takeout orders at the company's expense.  Some 60% of the 15,000 orders Urbanbite receives each month are from corporate employees.

Urbanbite, like Just-Eat, is headquartered in London, but only serviced the London area.  The company was founded in 1999 and acquired fellow online takeout service in 2000, at which point founder Ben Carmona came onboard as the new CEO.  

Over the last few months, food delivery has gotten its share of attention in the VC and tech world. Online daily deal service LivingSocial announced in November that it was launching a new food ordering feature to their LivingSocial Instant. The food ordering service is testing exclusively in the Washington D.C. area, with users able to order food and schedule for home or office delivery from participating restaurants.

As of launch, the initiative had more than 70 D.C.-local restaurants, including Wisey's, Chix, Sala Thai and Shawafel. And LivingSocial is sweetening the pot, marketing-wise, for vendors. One example given in LivingSocial's press release described a situation where a "Rasoi Daily Deal" offered on a Wednesday to D.C. customers would be redeemable through Thursday for LivingSocial Instant users.

Also, during the holiday season, companies like Kitchit were focused on taking some of the stress out of the holiday season by debuting a new set of “Home for the Holidays” curated menus.

Essentially, it’s like getting your holiday dinner catered—but by world-class, top-of-the-line gourmet chefs.  The site allows members to quickly and easily order up a classic Thanksgiving meal for 20, or a gourmet Chanukah meal for four.  Kitchit takes care of everything from shopping for the ingredients to the cleanup afterward (the part I resent the most).

Each holiday package came with a full menu description, an overview of the service style (individual plating or family-style), pricing info, and a full chef bio.

Because it is a fine dining experience brought to your home, the service isn’t cheap.  It starts at $50 a head and goes up from there.  And like other luxury services, such as Gilt Groupe, membership to the site is by invitation only.

It looks like staying home is the new going out.



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