Once you take a bite, you just gotta have more… That’s seemingly the modus operandi for ‘Global Online Takeaway Group,’ the business unit created by Rocket Internet last week. Fresh from consuming no fewer than nine global rivals to its FoodPanda service, the group has turned its attention to the Middle East where it has acquired regional player Talabat and Dubai-based 24h.
Rocket Internet said it has paid €150 million ($170 million) for Talabat, which is active in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, but it isn’t disclosing a price for 24h, which services only the UAE market.
Talabat claims to have over 1,300 restaurants on its platform, including global names like KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Subway, many of which are also partners on FoodPanda and the plethora of other new Rocket Internet-backed companies.
Rocket Internet had limited business in the food space in the Middle East prior to today. Its Hello Food service is active in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and now the region appears to be a real priority for the Germany-headquartered group.
Rocket Internet CEO Oliver Samwer said as much about the Middle East — where smartphone penetration is high and online shopping is increasing mainstream — in a statement:
The online food takeaway sector is currently undergoing tremendous change. With the newly created Global Online Takeaway Group, Rocket Internet is at the forefront of consolidating the key markets in one of the most attractive online sectors. The Middle East is one of the most attractive markets with significant growth potential and highly attractive EBITDA margins.
This deal expands the reach of the Global Online Takeaway Group, which last week claimed to cover 39 countries via its involvement in ten food delivery companies.