One to Watch: Delivery Hero

October, 2017

Niklas Östberg, CEO of Delivery Hero, the Berlin-based online food ordering service, has a simple vision: “we make hungry people happy.” In less than ten years, he has grown his company from a handful of restaurants in the north of Sweden into a global leader, processing over 20m orders per month from 40-plus countries and posting revenues of €121m for Q1 2017 – double the amount for the same period in 2016.

When the Swedish entrepreneur first sampled some online food services in 2007, he recalls being “fascinated by the idea of food magically appearing at your fingertips.” So he saved up €60,000 to launch the company. “Up until 2008 half the budget went on the development of an order terminal and the order functionality of the website,” he says.

Niklas Östberg, CEO of Delivery Hero | © Delivery Hero/David Pettersson

His early emphasis on speed and convenience has paid off. Delivery Hero has been far more successful than its competitors like Just Eat, which launched in Sweden in 2008. So what has been its recipe for success? “Local teams fighting for their customers, knowing their local customers and knowing the local peculiarities,” says Östberg. This has been achieved by partnering with market leaders in new territories: for example Talabat in the Middle East and recently AmRest in central Europe.

Östberg’s knack for securing investment at the right time – he raised €387m from Naspers in May – has enabled his company to grow rapidly. Recent acquisitions include rival German firm Foodpanda and the Middle Eastern food delivery platform Carriage. In June, it floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange in the largest listing by a European technology business for two years, raising almost €1bn.

Luckily for Östberg – whose schedule has been non-stop this year – he will never have to cook again. He is currently enjoying munching his way through the menus of the Asian restaurants in his network.

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