All posts in “Deliveroo”

Deliveroo will enter Taiwan, its fourth market in the Asia-Pacific so far

Food delivery service Deliveroo is making headway in its Asian expansion strategy. The London-based company announced today that it will launch in Taiwan in the coming weeks, starting with Taipei, the country’s capital, before heading to other cities. This marks Deliveroo’s fourth market in the Asia-Pacific region (the others are Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore) and is also a launch with personal significance for founder and CEO Will Shu, whose family is Taiwanese.

In a press statement, Shu said “Our launch in Taiwan is also a personal milestone for me, my parents were born in Taiwan and much of my family still lives in Taipei. Taiwan is the market with my favourite food in the world—my personal favourite is a big bowl of 牛肉麵 [beef noodle soup] and a huge piece of 炸雞排 [fried chicken]. From a personal standpoint, It’s an amazing feeling to launch Deliveroo in Taiwan.”

Once its Taiwan business starts, Deliveroo, which is reportedly eyeing an IPO to take place in the next two years, will operate in a total of 13 markets around the world. The company already faces stiff competition in Taipei, however, where its rivals will include Foodpanda, Uber Eats and Honestbee. Foodpanda was the first, launching five years ago, but Uber Eats quickly became a formidable rival when it entered Taiwan in 2016. Honestbee, a grocery and food delivery service, is also popular, and during lunch and dinner times riders carrying these services’ cooler bags on the backs of their scooters are a ubiqutious sight on Taipei’s streets.

Like other food delivery startups, all three offer costly incentives like discount codes, flash sales and free delivery to entice customers. The resulting war of attrition has forced food delivery services in other markets to withdraw or consolidate. For example, Foodpanda sold off its Vietnam and Indonesia operations, before the company itself was sold by Rocket Internet to larger rival Delivery Hero at the end of 2016.

Deliveroo has the advantage of a large war chest, however, and its funding (its Series F last year raised about $480 million at a valuation of more than $2 billion) will help it with the high cost of competition as it expands into new markets.

Deliveroo offers free OpenClassrooms courses to riders

If you’re a rider on Deliveroo, you can now follow courses on OpenClassrooms and get certificates of achievement for free. You get a free Premium Solo account, which is worth €20 per month ($23.44).

You’ll find courses in French, English and Spanish on many technical and non-technical topics. For instance, you can learn a programming language, UI or project management skills. But you can also follow courses on marketing, leadership and more.

OpenClassrooms is a freemium platform, which means that anyone can access courses for free. But a premium account lets you access additional materials and more features to study at your own pace. You also get certificates of achievement when you go through an entire course.

This isn’t groundbreaking news for Deliveroo riders, but it’s good to see that the company wants to take care of its “partners” with perks — I’m sure they’d rather become employees with traditional benefits.

As long as you’ve worked with Deliveroo for the past three months, you can renew your free Premium Solo subscription. It is limited to some countries for now. In the future, Deliveroo and OpenClassrooms plan to offer Premium Plus subscriptions with grants.

This subscription tier lets you sign up to a path that leads to a diploma and a job. It usually costs €300 per month and replaces traditional universities for those who want to work on the side. It takes months or even years to complete a path.

OpenClassrooms received a $1 million grant from Google.org to develop this program. They pitched the idea to Google’s charitable arm in order to help freelancers learn new skills. As part of this project, OpenClassrooms will create new courses on accounting, business opportunities and other useful skills for freelancers. Deliveroo is the first platform to benefit from this program.

Deliveroo opens its first shared kitchen in Paris

Food delivery startup Deliveroo opened its first shared kitchen in Paris earlier today. Deliveroo first launched this concept of shared kitchens called Deliveroo Editions in London last year.

As the AFP reports, the company is starting with 12 kitchens in a warehouse in Saint-Ouen, right next to the north-western part of Paris. So far, 8 restaurants have agreed to make a deal with Deliveroo.

You’ll find top restaurants on Deliveroo, such as Blend, Petit Cambodge, Tripletta and Santosha. Restaurants can choose to pay a rent or get started for free and pay higher fees.

Deliveroo customers currently pay €2.50 per order for the delivery in Paris. But the company also gets a cut of the total order amount — customers don’t realize that Deliveroo gets a cut from both sides. It can be as much as 25 or 30 percent of what you order. It’s unclear how much Deliveroo is asking for those new kitchens.

But it makes sense for restaurants that can’t expand indefinitely. Deliveroo lets you accept orders without any additional table.

Gérard Julien / AFP / Getty Images

While there are multiple Blend or Petit Cambodge restaurants in Paris, they can’t deliver everywhere around the city. But opening a new restaurant also represents a huge investment.

That’s why those Deliveroo kitchens can be a good compromise. You can hire a handful of people and see if there’s enough demand in the area. It’s also a good way to differentiate Deliveroo from UberEats and other compatitors.

This is the first site in France. Let’s see if it gets out of control like in the U.K. The Guardian reported that Deliveroo Editions are now tiny containers with no window on car parks. It gets hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and you can hear a ton of mopeds getting orders from those metal boxes.

Deliveroo first started with the idea of helping regular restaurants accept online orders — not just pizza places with existing delivery persons. But containers on a car park don’t sound as attractive.

Gérard Julien / AFP / Getty Images

Deliveroo employees are getting shares, riders are getting nothing

Food delivery startup Deliveroo is feeling generous today. The company is handing out equity to all full-time staff members. In other words, 2,000 employees are going to receive the equivalent of $13.5 million in Deliveroo shares.

“Our phenomenal growth and success has been made possible thanks to the hard work, commitment and passion of the people who make this company what it is,” co-founder and CEO Will Shu told Reuters. “And that deserves recognition which is why I want all employees to be owners in Deliveroo and to have a real stake in the company’s future as we expand and grow.”

This is a great way to prove that you care about your employees. And yet, there are a few caveats.

First, the company is currently worth over $2 billion. In total, Deliveroo is just handing out 0.675 percent of the company to its employees. I’m sure plenty of early employees already have equity.

But those who joined more recently aren’t likely to get rich over this — it represents a $6,750 equity bonus per employee on average. And shares usually vest after a certain amount of time.

Second, this is the perfect example of the gig economy. In addition to the usual benefits, full-time employees are getting rewarded once again. If you’re a self-employed rider, Deliveroo doesn’t want to thank you.

Arguably, Deliveroo still thinks that riders are disposable. They might be the ones who pick up food in restaurants and hand it to customers, but they will never be full-time employees.

Sure, Deliveroo and Uber Eats are now providing free accident insurance coverage, but it mostly covers hospital bills. Riders have been asking for better rights, and this insurance package is just a good way to ease the pressure.

Working with contractors at scale is the backbone of Uber, Deliveroo and many other on-demand startups. This way, startups don’t have to pay the minimum wage or expensive benefits. Startups can also terminate their relationships with their ‘partners’ without any consequence.

It’s a great way to pressure your contractors in working more for less money. And today’s move by Deliveroo is further proof that riders are just an afterthought.