Hungry? Too tired to cook or go out for food? Stuck gnawing at suspicious looking chicken from the fridge? It happens to the best of us. If you don’t have an Internet connection, get back to your chicken. But if you do, check out Foodpanda. It’s one of the most popular online food delivery services in Pakistan, and many other countries around the world. The service is currently available in eight Pakistani cities including Faisalabad, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.
Foodpanda is about faster and simpler online food delivery, and is headed by “a small team of problem solvers, designers, thinkers and tinkers, working around the clock to make Foodpanda the most powerful online tool for ordering food in the universe”.
The website is easy to use, with a simple interface and instructions. The site allows the user to choose by location, then restaurant, cuisine type, or price range. They also have an app available on the App Store and also on Google Play, where the app has a 4.0 rating. The app is also featured on CNET and is described as the “#1 Food App in Pakistan”.
Foodpanda has over 892,000 likes on Facebook, 383 followers on their Pakistan twitter account (@FoodPandapk), and a thriving campaign tempting people to try them out. What sets them apart from their competitors is that they are able to take a worldwide brand and make it country specific, and market themselves accordingly.
They know what their consumers want, and they know how to get it to them. Foodpanda has been able to distinguish itself in a market that is seeing a growing number of online food delivery services. One of their biggest competitors includes Urbanite.pk, which recently merged with E-Takeaway, a Denmark-based international food delivery portal, which is currently present in ten countries though it is looking to expand even more. Other rivals include khaopiyo.pk, foortal.pk and eatoye.pk, among others.
Who is Foodpanda?
The company behind Foodpanda is Rocket Internet, an international venture capital firm that is also an Internet incubator. They have built up over a hundred online companies since their inception, and Foodpanda is one of these.
Based in Berlin, Rocket Internet also has international offices in all the continents, and most of the countries in which they operate. They are also the company behind Easy Taxi in Pakistan, an app that allows users to set their location and book nearby taxis. Their other ventures in Pakistan include daraz.pk, kaymu.pk and lamudi.pk.
Started by the Samwer brothers, who are sometimes called ‘clone kings’ due to the practice of remaking existing business ideas, the company is largely successful. A feature in the Economist showed that “today Rocket is a hyper-efficient assembly line for e-commerce start-ups: it can launch new online stores within weeks. The core of its business model is to take proven ideas, optimize them and export them to countries where they have not yet taken off.”
Foodpanda’s forward expansion
Foodpanda is now available in 41 countries and is looking to expand to even more. The company made an announcement in February stating: “Foodpanda and its affiliated brand hellofood, the fastest growing online food delivery marketplace worldwide, received another USD 20 million in funding from a group of investors including Phenomen Ventures.
With the new investment Foodpanda is aiming to continue its global ambitions and roll out to over 40 markets.” The company previously received another USD 20 million from AB Kinnevik in Sweden, and Phenomenon Ventures. They also received USD 8 million from iMENA.
There are indications that “the venture backing not only enables Foodpanda to launch in new markets, it also opens the door for acquisitions of competitors – of which there are many, as the food delivery space tends to be extremely fragmented. Rocket Internet doesn’t have a strong tradition of acquiring rival firms, but it’s happened before.” There doesn’t seem to be any indication as yet that Foodpanda may be interested in acquiring any of the growing number of online food delivery services currently operating in Pakistan. But with this level of funding and ambition, there’s no telling which way Foodpanda will go next- it seems the sky’s the limit.