Continuing its massive spending spree in Europe, the global technology and media investment conglomerate, Naspers, has invested €387 million ($421.3 million) in the online food ordering and delivery business Delivery Hero.
The investment, which was made at the company’s current valuation of over $3.1 billion (according to a statement), comes amid increasing speculation of an initial public offering for the Berlin-based food delivery business.
For Naspers, the investment in Delivery Hero means a stake in a business that operates in more than 40 countries and has seen significant growth (in part thanks to a merger with a major online takeout rival late last year). The company processed 171 million orders in 2016, up 65% from the previous year, according to a statement.
Over 150,000 restaurants use the delivery service, which has previously raised money from investors including Rocket Internet, the controversial German startup incubator, Insight Venture Partners, General Atlantic, and several undisclosed US-based fund managers.
“Food ordering and delivery presents an attractive opportunity for us. It is a large, under-penetrated, and growing market with potential for success across a broad range of geographies that Naspers knows well,” Naspers chief executive Bob van Dijk said in a statement.
Indeed, Naspers has holdings in a number of food delivery companies already. In 2015 the company invested in the Brazilian mobile application developer Movile, which owns a stake in the food delivery service iFood.
As we wrote in 2015:
The on-demand delivery market has now raised more money in the first four months of 2015 than it did in all of 2014, and the latest beneficiary is the Brazilian mobile application and content developer Movile.
The company has received a $40 million commitment from the South African technology investor and media company, Naspers (whose other investments include global technology giants like China’s Tencent, India’s Flipkart, Russia’s Mail.ru, and Latin America’s OLX).
Speaking on the Naspers investment, Delivery Hero chief executive Niklas Östberg said, “We are delighted to welcome such a renowned and strong investor with a proven track record in building successful platforms around the world. Naspers’ capital, relationships and knowhow will support our growth momentum as we continue to focus on creating an amazing takeaway experience globally.”