Rocket Internet goes food crazy, spends over $700M!

Steven Loeb · February 6, 2015 · Short URL:

The company makes big investments in Delivery Hero and HelloFresh, buys startups in Spain and Italy

Internet platform Rocket Internet must see a very, very big opportunity in food delivery, because the Berlin-based company just went absolutely food crazy on Friday, making a huge number of investments and acquisitions in the space.

The company, which already owns and operates food delivery company Foodpanda, announced that it has taken a 30% stake in rival food delivery company Delivery Hero. The price of the investment was€496 million, or $562.4 million.

Delivery Hero had previously raised over $635 million since its founding in 2010, with $523 million of that coming this year. It most recently raised $350 million in new funding in September, valuing it at roughly $1 billion. 

Rocket Internet also made a €130 million ($147.4 million) investment in another food delivery service: HelloFresh, which it calls a "market leader in subscription based grocery e-commerce." With the investment, Rocket now has majority ownership of the company at 52%.

HelloFresh has now raised a total of $216.5 million in venture funding. It's most recent prior raise was$50 million in Series D funding led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from Phenomen VC, in June.

Rocket also made some acquisitions today, buying up Southern European online food takeaway companies La Nevera Roja in Spain, and Pizzabo in Italy. The deal terms of both purchases remain undisclosed.

And, finally, Foodpanda announced on Friday that it too had made a series of acquisitions; seven in fact, and all of them in Asia. 

Here is the list:

  • JUST EAT in India
  • Room Service in Malaysia and Singapore, 
  • City Delivery in the Philippines
  • EatOye in Pakistan
  • Koziness in Hong Kong
  • Food By Phone in Thailand

This comes only a few months after Foodpanda has acquired four startups from Delivery Hero, including TastyKhana, which was one of the first food delivery portals in India. The other three were PedidosYa, SeMeAntoja and Superantojo in Mexico.

Founded in 2012, Foodpanda has services in over 40 countries, including Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, Qatar, Pakistan, Nigeria and Uganda. Last year, the company rolled out to 20 countries and, \earlier this year, it expanded its operations in Russia through its purchase of Delivery Club, the country's leading food delivery service.

This past summer it raised $60 million in funding, bringing the company's total funding to $108 million.

With all of these investments and acquisitions, Rocket Internet now has so many food delivery services under its belt that it has decided to combine Foodpanda, Delivery Hero, La Nevera Roja and Pizzabounder a new banner: Global Online Takeaway Group.

"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," Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet, said in a statement.

I think it is safe so that the chances are pretty good now that if you're ordering your food online anywhere outside of the United States, you'll be ordering from Rocket Internet.

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