UK startup Deliveroo has made a name for itself over the last three years by delivering restaurant food from A to B through its web and moble app.
The platform is simple. You open the app, put in your address, browse restaurants around you, and order some food from a restaurant, such as Pizza Express, Dishoom, or Byron. Within 30-40 minutes the food turns up on your doorstep (hopefully still warm).
But now people are starting to say that Deliveroo’s platform has potential beyond food delivery.
Investors have given the UberEATS competitor a staggering $475 million (£368 million) in funding to help it scale its platform worldwide. The most recent round of funding (a Series E round worth $275 million) was raised earlier this month and it was led by UK private equity firm Bridgepoint, which owns Pret A Manger.
One source close to the latest funding round told The Financial Times that the company’s “logistics platform” would be “strategically interesting” to corporates, who could use it to deliver items and services beyond food.
And an investor cited by The FT said they were betting on Deliveroo becoming “a next generation logistics company.”
If true, all of this goes against the company’s current messaging.
Deliveroo has been very vocal about the fact that it is purely a food delivery company whereas someone like, say, Uber, is spreading its bets across an increasing number of business opportunities, including UberEATS.
“We are focused on delivering the best food delivery experience for customers around the world,” Deliveroo cofounder and CEO Will Shu said earlier this month, the FT reported.
He added: “You won’t see us start transporting people around. You won’t see us delivering iPads.”
Deliveroo, which has expanded to 84 cities, has been under the spotlight over the last week as couriers protested outside its London office over proposed changes to how they are paid. Deliveroo wants to go from paying them an hourly rate and to paying them per delivery but some drivers are concerned they will end up earning less than minimum wage.