Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Foodpanda is Ola's chef in battle with Uber

Cabs to carbs Cabs to carbs
Cristina Norman | 20 December, 2017, 01:39

Besides, the SoftBank-backed company has committed investments to the tune of $200 million in the Foodpanda India business, which is the largest such funds infusion in an Indian online food ordering and delivery company till now.

The collaboration between Ola and Foodpanda India unlocks the power of a partnership that will help Foodpanda India grow as the most preferred online food delivery service in the country, Ola said in a statement Tuesday. Ltd has infused $200 million in an all-stock deal after which Foodpanda's India business will be transferred to Ola. Pranay Jivrajka, founding partner at Ola has been appointed as the interim CEO of Foodpanda India.

The development comes about six months after Ola's main rival, Uber Technologies Inc, announced the launch of its food delivery service UberEats.

"Foodpanda India will benefit from Ola's scale and efficiencies as a platform, also having leveraged learnings from Delivery Hero's global best practices", a press release from Ola said.

This is Ola's second attempt to enter the food delivery market in India.

Foodpanda cofounder Rohit Chadda resigned subsequently with several senior management officials following suit.A slump in valuation, employee layoffs and talks of shutdown amid efforts to sell the food delivery firm in India did not make the ride any easier. In 2015, it introduced a food ordering and delivery service - Ola Cafe. That Uber Eats has been able to deliver 10,000 orders a day only seven months after its India launch, as against Foodpanda's 40,000 orders a day five years after it launched, may have inspired Ola to jump into the fray, added Kumar, who says Ola's domain knowledge of hyper-local markets will be of help. A previous dalliance - pilot project Ola Cafe - shut down in 2016 less than a year after operating in a handful of tier-one cities.

DeliveryHero acquired Foodpanda from Rocket Internet at the end of past year, primarily to extend its food-ordering business into Asia, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe where Foodpanda is present.

To be sure, Ola and Uber are likely to face stiff competition from established players such as Swiggy and Zomato that have fought the downturn to emerge leaders in the nascent market.

Earlier in September this year, according to media reports, South African media firm Naspers hiked its holding in Delivery Hero and bought half the stake of Rocket Internet for €660 million ($775 million). Foodpanda India, which was mired in controversies around corporate governance, has about 15,000 restaurants in 100 cities listed on its platform. In the same year Foodpanda itself, back then owned by Rocket Internet, was acquired by its German rival Delivery Hero.

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