Last week we were excited to launch the EU-Startups CLUB, our first ever membership. But what actually is the EU-Startups CLUB, and what can you get from it as a startup? Put simply, the CLUB is your startup’s “go-to” place to stay up-to-date with tech trends, post jobs at your startup, check weekly listings of…
Food delivery startups have gone from hot to sizzling since the coronavirus pandemic started. Already popular across hundreds of cities in Europe, self isolation restrictions brought the convenient idea of ‘restaurant quality’ food at home to the forefront of more people’s minds. After a momentary dip in confidence due to sanitation worries, these comet-like companies quickly corrected their course and are continuing along the path of stellar fast-growth.
If we look at the top players on the leader board that were founded in the last 10 years in Europe, then Glovo, Deliveroo and Delivery Hero are right up there. With millions of users, 30K+ employees, combined funding rounds worth billions, and all three having hit unicorn status, there’s no stopping them.
But how exactly do they shape up when compared right next to each other? How many countries and cities are they available in? What services do they offer and what fees are involved? To get a handle on the comparison, we’ve made a short table to see them side-by-side.
Delivery Hero was founded in 2011 in Berlin by Niklas Östberg. He has since grown the company into a massive 25K+ person team of 100 nationalities over 5 continents, with around 1.5K employees in their Berlin HQ alone. They are currently the largest global food network (outside of China), operating in 40+ markets and over 600+ cities.When it comes to funding, the German company has closed a total of 16 rounds, totalling around €4.3 billion. In addition, they’ve acquired more than a few food delivery startups across Europe, such as Foody in Cyprus, to expand their reach internationally. When we interviewed founder Niklas about what sets them apart, he mentioned their local approach; operating via a number of local brands around the world they’re able to adjust to each local market. Today, it was announced that Delivery Hero will likely be accepted into the DAX, a stock index of Germany’s most valuable publicly traded companies.
Deliveroo was founded the following year, in 2012. This London-based team has since grown to a team of 5K+, operating in 13 countries and over +200 cities. The team has closed 9 funding rounds, with the last being a Series G round in May 2019, from Amazon, which it funnelled into more personalised for its users and creating more flexible, well-paid work for riders. The total raised by the startup is now approximately €1.2 billion, with it being no secret that this company has also achieved unicorn status. Regarding acquisitions, the company has made the news in recent years, for example by acquiring Scottish software company Cultivate to improve payment processes. In particular, it’s also worth mentioning that Deliveroo offers discounts for users if they order from restaurants closer to home, as well as using machine learning algorithms to optimize routes, overall allowing riders to complete more deliveries per hour and increase earnings.
Glovo is the baby of the trio, founded in 2015 in Barcelona. Despite having the smallest of all teams with +3K employees, the team has still managed to expand to 22 countries and 400+, more than its older counterpart Deliveroo. The startup has closed 9 rounds, securing in total approximately €435.2 million, the smallest amount of all three companies. Their latest funding was indeed raised in December 2019 as a Series E round, securing their spot as the second unicorn in Spain. They similarly strategise their global expansion through a number of acquisitions, such as when they recently entered the Polish market by acquiring Pizza Portal. Unique aspects to mention about Glovo is their diversification from just food delivery to also grocery, alcohol and pharmacy delivery – with the latter proving exceptionally popular throughout the pandemic.
Giants like US-based Uber Eats (2014, San Francisco), and Europe-based pioneers Just Eat (London, 2001), and Takeaway.com (Amsterdam, 2000) were on the scene 5-10 years before these three came around. In addition, in the past few years there has been a whole host of newbies on the block, including weekly meal package startups and delivery-first dark kitchens. We recently created a list of 10 food delivery startups smashing it in 2020, if you’d like to know more. In addition, ride-sharing startup Bolt recently joined the food delivery scene. In 2019, they launched their app ‘Bolt Food’, which is now present in 12 countries.
Finally, we can’t talk about food delivery startups without touching on the news surrounding rider working conditions. Questions have arisen over the ethical nature of labour conditions after strikes and court cases have repeatedly hit the news. Freelancer contracts that offer riders no holiday or sick pay, technical difficulties or mishaps resulting in just a few euros after hours of work, and public-facing roles in coronavirus times are just a few of the issues raised. As these startups continue to grow at a fast pace, they will certainly need to resolve these issues as European and national regulations start to catch up with them.
Secondly, even though restaurant food delivery is certainly a huge trend, the coronavirus pandemic may have just set off a parallel movement that could be serious competition: zero waste grocery boxes for cooking at home. As we discussed recently with the co-founders of The Mindful Chef, with people now more than ever focused on health, wellbeing, and their environmental impact, ordering a restaurant food at home might not continue to be the smart choice. In this case, it could be down to these leading startups to employ measures like more dark kitchens to guarantee even faster delivery for the services they already provide. In addition, they could diversify into these new sectors, for example with grocery drop-off or courier services, something the Glovo has already launched with (so far) huge success.
As several companies and entrepreneurs are struggling due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Dutch Cabinet is taking exceptional measures to support them financially. To ensure this, The Dutch Cabinet has created the Corona Bridge Loan (COL) especially for startups, scaleups and innovative SMEs that have been affected by COVID-19. Previously, it granted €100 million for the impacted startups and scaleups and now it has been supplemented by another €150 million to meet the financial needs of these companies.
The Corona Bridging Loan (COL) is an emergency loan for innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs sans a bank credit relationship, who have faced financial difficulties due to COVID-19. It was established in intensive cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), the joint Regional Development Companies (ROMs) and TechLeap.nl along with a close involvement of Invest-NL.
Loans up to €2 million!
Since the debut of COL on April 29, over 1,400 companies have applied for the loan. These companies have applied for loan amounts of over €500 million and the average amount is nearly €360k. The ROMs (Regional Development Companies) provide bridging loans varying from €50,000 to €2 million at favourable requests from the Cabinet.
“We knew that there was a great need for financing, but the number of applications even surprised us. It is a good thing that an additional budget is now available for startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs. This gives them the financial runway they need to bridge this period and continue their innovations. Because innovations are essential for the future earning potential of the Netherlands and the jobs of tomorrow,” said Rinke Zonneveld (director InnovationQuarter) on behalf of the ROMs.
The ROMs are active as investors in companies through their own funds and funds under management, and are responsible for attracting foreign companies to their region, stimulate innovation among SMEs and strengthen them by boosting partnerships between entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and governments. All ROMs are now active in the field of internationalisation and trade promotion. And, none are active in Utrecht and Noord-Holland. The applications for ROMs from Utrecht and Noord-Holland will be processed by a team of financing professionals.
How COL extension helps businesses?
As the impact of the coronavirus crisis is huge and has affected the startups and scaleups, a majority of the companies are coming across the disappearing demand due to the loss of existing customers or the lack of new customers. And, collecting new financing is a problem for the affected companies. This is why Techleap together with the ROMs and Invest-NL developed an online application portal to let companies submit their application for COVID-19 bridge financing.
CEO Techleap.nl Nils Beers said, “The COL is intended to help startups in dire need. This 150 million euros is an important investment for the preservation of this sector. Startups and scale-ups are a crucial link in the instruments for the restoration of the Netherlands. It is imperative that provinces also start to invest and that measures are taken to promote the restoration.”
Stock photo from Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
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Fast-growing European tech startups are invited to take part in the 2020 edition of the EIT Digital Challenge to win a full-year of acceleration worth €50K, access to EIT Digital’s innovation network and international visibility – plus, if you are the top selected startup, a further €100K.
EIT Digital is looking for startups in the following 5 thematic areas: Digital Tech, Digital Cities, Digital Industry, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Finance. In particular, they’re looking for startups that will tackle the world’s major challenges.
“Among all applicants to the competition, we will select 20 companies and invite them to an exclusive event in November where they will pitch to a jury of high-profile corporates and investors,” says Dolf Wittkamper, Head of the EIT Digital Accelerator. “A total of 5 winners will be announced during this event, one Challenge winner and four runners-up; they all will receive a full year of tailored support from the EIT Digital Accelerator, valued at €50,000. On top of that, the Challenge winner will receive a cash prize of €100,000.”
The 5 lucky teams getting a full year of support from the EIT Digital Accelerator can expect world-class guidance. The EIT Digital Accelerator was ranked among the World’s Top 5 Public Business Accelerators in 2019 by UBI Global, and one of the top Accelerators in Europe by a European Startup Initiative survey. The top 5 teams will get access to expertise provided by business developers and fundraising experts operating from 17 cities across Europe, and a hub in Silicon Valley.
How to apply
To apply for the EIT Digital Challenge, companies must fulfill the following criteria: be based in one of the member states of the European Union, United Kingdom, or in one of the Horizon 2020 associated countries; be in the growth stage (to be proven by showing annual revenue of over €300,000 or at least €2 million in total funding); and, they should be in their first ten years of existence.
Since its launch in 2014, the competition has attracted more than 2000 entries from all over Europe. Most of the winning scaleups have gone on to become internationally successful companies. Now it’s your turn!
“Winning the EIT Digital Challenge helped us seize a couple of major deals for which we were waiting for the clients’ final decisions. In less than 6 months, EIT Digital has already proved to provide us huge media coverage, some welcome financial support as well as numerous sales opportunities in Europe for which we are very grateful”– says Lucas Le Bell, CEO and Co-Founder of CerbAir, who was awarded in 2019 and joined the EIT Digital Accelerator shortly after.
The deadline for applications is 7 June 2020. For further information and to apply, please visit the EIT Digital Challenge website.