Competing food delivery apps Foodpanda, which is backed by Rocket Internet, and Delivery Hero have made a series of deals, acquiring companies owned by each other in India, Mexico, and five Latin American countries.
Foodpanda bought TastyKhana, a food delivery portal that partners with 10,000 restaurants in 173 cities, in India; and Mexican companies PedidosYa, SeMeAntoja, and Superantojo (operated by PedidosYa), which together work with 2,500 restaurants in 10 cities, from Delivery Hero. Meanwhile, Delivery Hero purchased businesses in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru from hellofood, a brand affiliated with Foodpanda. This will bring the total number of restaurants the company partners with in Latin America to 17,500 after the acquisition. Terms of the deals were not given.
Having two rivals, both of which are seeking to expand in emerging markets, swap companies with each other may seem unusual, but this is not the first link between Rocket Internet and Delivery Hero. Back in March 2013, Rocket Internet founders Oliver and Marc Samwer teamed up with Fabian Siegel, Delivery Hero’s co-founder, and former co-CEO, to launch Global Founders Capital, a $194 million focused on startups in developing market and e-commerce ventures. At that time, Siegel told TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden that the companies are engaged in a friendly competition, with relatively few crossover markets because Foodpanda targets emerging markets, while, at that time, Delivery Hero was focused mainly on Europe.
While Delivery Hero is now expanding beyond Europe, it appears that the competition is still friendly (or at least benignly pragmatic). A Foodpanda spokesman said that the acquisitions will allow it to extend its leadership in India and Mexico, while concentrating on its core markets in Southeast Asia, Russia, and Brazil. Foodpanda is currently available in 38 countries, while Delivery Hero operates in 23 countries.
This indicates that as the two companies move forward with their expansion plans, they will start to focus on consolidation in different markets instead of competing in the same ones. Latin America, Europe, and Asia are key to Delivery Hero’s long-term strategy, says the company, and it has dedicated the massive $657 million it has raised so far to making acquisitions in those areas. In comparison, Foodpanda has raised $108 million, but Rocket Internet, one of its main backers, was valued at $8.2 billion in an initial public offering last month. In Asia, Delivery Hero currently operates in China and South Korea, instead of Southeast Asia like Foodpanda. It also considers Australia a key market.