The food delivery wars in Europe remain hotter than a vindaloo, and that’s leading to some major consolidation: today Just Eat and Takeaway.com, two of the bigger take-out and delivery businesses in the region, announced they are in the “advanced stages” of a merger. The deal would help them combine forces and take on more scale to compete better with Uber Eats and Amazon-backed Deliveroo.
Both companies are currently publicly listed, Just Eat in London and Takeaway.com in Amsterdam, each with a market cap of around $5 billion.
…Takeaway.com — which went public in 2016 — is no stranger to snapping up once-rivals in a bid to expand its business against increasing competition from Uber Eats and Deliveroo. Last year, it paid $1.1 billion to buy Delivery Hero’s German operations, as the latter (ironically based in Berlin) continued to turn its attention to operations in developing markets.
Economies of scale are a critical part of making the financials of delivery and other transportation and e-commerce services work better. You can develop more efficient routes and plot drivers more closely to pickups and drop-offs. In the case of food services, this is especially important, considering the freshness of the passenger.
There are other areas where it also makes more sense, such as in terms of the investments that a delivery company will make in building better back-end systems to operate the services: having a wider network of restaurants and drivers tapping into those investments makes the payoff faster.