(Bloomberg) — Delivery Hero SE’s Foodpanda is launching operations in Japan Thursday, expanding its Asian footprint to the world’s No. 3 economy.
The company will roll out its meal delivery services in six Japanese cities in a first phase, including Kobe, Yokohama and Nagoya, Jakob Angele, Foodpanda’s Asia Pacific chief executive officer, told Bloomberg TV’s Rishaad Salamat and Juliette Saly. The firm will initially invest 20 million euros ($23.5 million) in the effort, he added.
Foodpanda’s entry will escalate competition with existing players in the market including Demae-Can Co., Uber Eats, FineDine, Maishoku, Rakuten Delivery and Amazon Japan.
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Japan’s food delivery market is at a nascent stage compared with more mature markets like Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to Angele. “Therefore, we do see a very large opportunity and a very clear path for Foodpanda to become the market leader in Japan,” he added.
Established in 2012, Foodpanda now operates in more than 300 cities across the Asia Pacific, delivering meals and groceries. Berlin-based parent Delivery Hero announced in December it would take control of South Korea’s biggest food delivery app, Woowa Brothers Corp., at a $4 billion valuation.