Delivery services

Delivery Hero and Uber Eats launch in Berlin

The delivery hero brand Foodpanda is coming to Berlin. It is already active in other markets, such as Hong Kong here.
IMAGO / Zuma Wire
The delivery hero brand Foodpanda is coming to Berlin. It is already active in other markets, such as Hong Kong here.

Movement in the German delivery market: Two and a half years ago, the Berlin-based company and current DAX-listed group Delivery Hero sold its entire German business for just under one billion euros to competitor Just Eat, the parent company of the German brand Lieferando. Now Delivery Hero wants to return, initially to Berlin. And it's not just about food delivery anymore. With Uber Eats, another player is coming to Berlin.

However, the return will not see a reunion with the once sold brands Lieferheld, or Foodora. Instead, Delivery Hero wants to establish the Foodpanda brand, with which Delivery Hero already operates in other markets. Delivery Hero founder and CEO Niklas Östberg told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

In the process, the delivery spectrum is to be significantly expanded:"We will not only offer restaurant delivery of food. We will also deliver everything else, from food to shoes to pharmaceutical products. Just everything that the shops in the immediate vicinity offer," the Süddeutsche quotes Östberg. In addition, Foodpanda wants to guarantee delivery in seven minutes. The delivery service is to start with a pilot phase in the Berlin districts of Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, the official launch date is August 10.

Explosive decision

The company's entry into the German market is also explosive because when it sold its Germany business in 2018, Delivery Hero pledged not to operate in Germany for a certain period of time. That period is now expiring. Before 2018, Delivery Hero brands had also engaged in a fierce duel with Lieferando for the number one position in the German delivery business, which was mainly accompanied by enormously high marketing expenses. And even now Östberg appears combative: "We are certainly not coming back to Germany to be only number two or three here in the long term. We have great ambitions, even if it may take ten years," he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The competition reacted promptly to the announcement. Just Eat announced it would also deliver orders from supermarkets with Lieferando in several German cities. The delivery time is said to be 20 to 30 minutes. In addition, Just Eat CEO Jitse Groen taunted Delivery Hero on Twitter. He wrote: "Competition makes us stronger. Last time DH tried it cost them eight years, a takeover of then #1 and about 500m euros to become less than a quarter of our current German size. We beat them in Holland, the UK, Poland, Ireland and Germany and will happily do it again."

Oestberg responded on the short messaging service with some - from his point of view - corrections. He said they spent significantly less money and recouped some of it through sales. In addition, he said, they were the market leader when they sold the business.

Just Eat CEO Jitse Groen und Delivery Hero CEO Oestberg auf Twitter

Uber Eats also announces market entry

At least in Berlin, there is clear movement in the delivery market after years of Lieferando monopoly. In addition to Delivery Hero, Uber Eats also announced its immediate launch in Berlin on the same day. At launch, more than 200 restaurants were already cooperating with Uber Eats in Berlin-Mitte as well as in large parts of Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Neukölln, a statement said. In addition, Finnish food delivery service Wolt has been active in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and Hanover since August 2018.

In addition, there are delivery service start-ups such as Gorillas and Flink in several cities, which, however, specialize in supermarket orders instead of restaurant food.