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foodpanda takes delivery of another US$100m

Goldman Sachs leads startup's second Series E round of funding and will join foodpanda's advisory board
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 05:50
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The office of the food delivery service.
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Mr Wenzel says the firm will tap Goldman's expertise to build its business in emerging markets.

Singapore

SUFFICE to say, food delivery platform foodpanda - which made its global debut in Singapore in 2012 - has an insatiable appetite.

On Monday, the Berlin-based startup announced that it has gobbled down a new US$100 million in what is believed to be its second Series E round, taking total funding to-date to over US$310 million.

This latest funding round, which saw participation from foodpanda's earliest investor Rocket Internet, is led by Goldman Sachs, whose hedge fund arm Goldman Sachs Investment Partners will join foodpanda's advisory board as part of the investment.

foodpanda reportedly marks one of Goldman Sachs' first investments in a food services tech startup. Last November, the New York financial services giant fed some US$36 million in Series D funding to Seoul-based restaurant delivery app Baedal Minjeok.

Since 2009, Goldman Sachs has invested in over 70 private tech firms, among them Facebook, Dropbox and Uber. Most recently on May 1, it pumped in Series G funding to the tune of US$350 million in Swedish music streaming platform Spotify.

Said foodpanda co-founder and CEO Ralf Wenzel: "Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, with its deep expertise in online marketplaces... together with our group of investors, will allow us to build the leading mobile food delivery marketplace in emerging markets targeting over three billion consumers."

At present, foodpanda operates in over 580 cities in 40 markets, mostly emerging markets across Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, partnering more than 60,000 restaurants.

A company spokesman said it has no immediate plans to foray into the US, which is mainly served by Chicago-based Grubhub, or into Western Europe, which is dominated by London-based Just East. Both platforms went public around April 2014, a testament to the global investing appetite for food delivery platforms.

In Singapore, foodpanda has acquired over 400 restaurant partners, and grown its user base by an average of 10 to 15 per cent monthly since March 2012, said the spokesman.

Last week, foodpanda Singapore launched a premium delivery service with selected food outlets, allowing users in the central business district to receive their food in under an hour while at the same time cutting the delivery charge by up to 50 per cent.

With the latest funding, foodpanda aims to roll out the premium delivery service islandwide, and deepen operations in its existing markets worldwide, BT has learnt.

This comes two months after the startup raised 37 million euros (S$55.1 million) in Series E from Rocket Internet. In February, it snapped up six rival sites across seven markets, among them Food Runner in Singapore and Just Eat in India, beefing up Rocket Internet's newly minted Global Online Takeaway Group, which it is part of.

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