How Deliverect is driving the digitization of food delivery
Written by Jambu Palaniappan, Managing Partner, OMERS Ventures, Europe
Deliverect announced today that it has raised a $65M growth round led by DST Global Partners and Redpoint Ventures. Their growth over the last year is reflective of the team’s incredible focus on acutely solving their customer’s pain points.
I have personally lived through these pain points in a previous role, so from the very first conversation I knew that the market was real and substantial. But just having a good idea isn’t enough. Building that idea into a genuine, scalable business takes grit, determination and vision — all of which this team has in spades.
In 2017 when I was leading Uber Eats in EMEA, I had a massive problem; we were signing partnership agreements with some of the largest restaurant groups in Europe but struggling to get the partnerships live because of (the lack of) technology integrations. It was a seemingly simple problem: those restaurants used Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and didn’t want four additional tablets for their staff to manage delivery orders. They wanted a technology solution that integrated delivery into their existing workflows.
This simple problem was the founding story at Deliverect. Zhong and Jan met each other at university in Belgium and have built companies together ever since. Deliverect started out as a simple API that allowed restaurants to integrate delivery orders directly into their POS systems, but has evolved to be so much more.
For me, there are a few clear reasons why the company has been so successful just two years since its founding, and why its future is so bright.
First, Zhong, Jan and the Deliverect team have the most customer empathy I’ve seen in any business. Zhong literally grew up in the restaurant technology industry; his dad built and runs a POS company for Asian restaurants in Belgium. He and Jan built the first iPad POS system in Europe, exiting in 2014 to Lightspeed. They have lived firsthand the problems that their customers face and have such credibility when proposing solutions because of the trust they have established.
In a world and a year that has surfaced tensions between food-makers and technology companies, Deliverect has been a clear, trusted advocate for restaurants and food retailers who are transitioning quickly to a digital world.
Second, they are building a full-stack operating system for the off-premise world. Full-stack in that it’s clear that food-makers can operate the entire delivery operation, from integrating with various ordering channels to updating their menus and pricing online, from a single Deliverect screen. Off-premise because what was originally just a simple API for integrating delivery channels is evolving to be so much more.
The team has also found that the opportunity is much bigger than just traditional restaurants. As the market has heard about the product, Deliverect has been pulled into new categories and verticals by its customers. Some of Deliverect’s largest customers today are FMCG companies like Unilever and Mars, who operate their dark stores using Deliverect’s product.
What’s ahead for the company? The team wants to go faster and invest more in the right long-term areas. They are focused on global expansion, expanding the product offering, and scaling the team. And yes, they are hiring!
It’s clear we are still in the early days of the transition to a digital-first food world. Many companies have focused on the consumer angle of this transition, but at OMERS Ventures the question we’ve been asking ourselves for the past few years is who is building the ‘picks and shovels’ to build that revolution? In Deliverect, we see the global operating system that will define that transition. We’re so excited to be a part of the Deliverect journey and look forward to seeing the team reach new heights!