Deliveroo hops to Australia with AU$140m Series D funding

UK-based startup firm Deliveroo is bringing its on-demand food delivery service to Australia, starting with Sydney and Melbourne after securing AU$140 million in its latest funding round.

Deliveroo, which pitches itself more as a technology startup rather than another food delivery service, has announced that it has raised an additional AU$140 million as part of a Series D funding round to help finance its international expansion to Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai.

The Series D investment was led by existing investor Greenoaks Capital and new investor DST Global with participation from other existing investors Accel, Hummingbird Ventures, and Index Ventures. The latest investment comes off the back of July's Series C funding that raised AU$98 million. The total capital investment in the company now sits at AU$280 million.

Speaking to ZDNet, Deliveroo country manager Levi Aron said the expansion into Australia and the other countries will mark the first time the company moved its operations outside of Europe. He added that receiving the additional backing is a "strong vote of confidence", particularly because the investors have also backed other tech startups including Atlassian, Etsy, Facebook, and Spotify.

When asked how Deliveroo differentiates itself beyond other food delivery services such as Menulog and Delivery Hero, Aron claimed the company prides itself on being a technology company with the three apps it has designed using algorithms to keep track of when a order is received by a restaurant to when the food is cooked and then delivered to the customer.

One app has been designed to allow consumers to put orders through to their choice of restaurant via their smartphone; another app has been designed for restaurants to see when orders come through; and another for the drivers to know when they need to make a delivery.

"Where we stand head and shoulders above everyone else across this type of thing is in the experience, the speed, and the quality of the food that is delivered to them," he said.

"That can only happen based on technology we have in terms of finding the right driver; track that driver so that consumers follow where that driver is as they bring the food to them; the restaurant is updated by the second as the process is happening so they can track their order as well; and the driver itself is empowered by the technology to maximise the efficiency of their time."

According to Aron, the company guarantees that a restaurant should take no longer than 90 seconds to respond to an order and the food can be delivered from order time in an average of 30 minutes.

As part of the Australian launch, Deliveroo has opened offices in both Melbourne and Sydney where it has already invested in over 40 staff, and is currently further expanding the team with new positions across sales, marketing, operations, and customer service.

38 Chairs, Uncle, Huxtaburger, Spice Room, Mary's, and The Roosevelt are are among some of the 200 restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney that have initially signed up to Deliveroo. The company said there are plans to launch Deliveroo in the coming months following Christmas in Adelaide, Gold Coast, and Perth.

Deliveroo launched in London in 2013 before expanding in parts of Europe including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy.