Despite Just Eat’s multibillion dollar IPO, and serious competition from Rocket Internet’s FoodPanda and heavily-backed Delivery Hero, the online take-out delivery platform space in the U.K. — and London in particular — isn’t a done deal yet. That’s because a number of startups are attempting to reach parts of the market that these take-out behemoths aren’t targeting. Namely, food delivery from premium restaurants that don’t traditionally offer a take-out service.
One such startup, Dinein.co.uk, has today announced that it’s acquired local rival MyDeliveryCab — a move that sees it add a further 60+ premium restaurant partners in London, as well as expanding its fleet of drivers. It also follows hot on the heels of competitor Deliveroo raising a £2.7 million series A round led by Index Ventures back in June and, perhaps, signals the beginnings of further consolidation in the space.
Terms of the acquisition remain undisclosed, though I’m inclined to think this is an all-stock deal. MyDeliveryCab’s founders will remain as advisers, while Dinein.co.uk founder and CEO Evan Graj tells me the acquisition consists of “an eventual 100% of the company depending on some success criteria in the future.”
Founded in 2011 (and previously known as My Salivation Delivers), Dinein.co.uk lets you order from premium restaurants for home delivery. It does this via delivery partnerships with over 250 restaurants in London, powered by its own logistic tech and fleet of drivers. It’s the latter element that really differentiates it from the Just Eat model, which relies on the take-outs themselves to handle delivery.
To that end, Dinein.co.uk believes it’s solved the technology aspect of the logistic side of its business to the extent that it now sells a SaaS solution for other companies that face similar logistical problems surrounding delivery — specifically, through the ability to assign delivery to drivers based on their current and future locations (something Graj described to me as a “cloud” of drivers, which updates in real-time) rather than simply assigning each driver to a specific radius or restaurant.
“The SaaS DISPATCH product allows any delivery company to automatically dispatch and monitor their drivers in real time. This is a huge benefit to large delivery operations who centralize their customer service and dispatcher rather than having these functions in every individual delivery branch,” he says.
We can also expect a large customer to be announced for its logistics SaaS in the next few months. This begs the question: is Dinein.co.uk in the restaurant delivery business or the logistic business? Graj says that long-term it could be the latter, and one way to think about it is that Dinein.co.uk is the startup’s first customer for its SaaS solution.
On that note, my understanding is that Dinein.co.uk is currently raising a VC round, having previously raised a modest seed round via equity crowdfunding platform CrowdCube. In fact, when I called Graj he was doing the rounds at the NOAH conference, no doubt pressing flesh with investors. The premium restaurant take-out space in London is certainly heating up.