August 14, 2019

The food delivery startups, compared

Ahead of further fierce battles to be fought between Europe's food delivery companies, we lay out the state of play: who's who, who's where and what's next?

Amy Lewin

10 min read

It’s been a busy few weeks for Europe’s food delivery companies.

Just Eat and, the two veterans of the market, agreed a merger valuing the combined company at a whopping £9bn. Uber Eats announced plans to start delivering grocery items. Deliveroo told customers it would be pulling out of Germany, while announcing plans to boost its tech team and to acquire a Scottish software startup. And rumours swirled that both Uber and Deliveroo were eyeing up Spanish delivery startup Glovo for acquisition.

The battle over Europe’s stomachs is only just beginning, it seems.

So, ahead of further delivery drama, Sifted dives into the data to lay out the state of play.

Who’s who? and Just Eat both started out as platforms which aggregated local takeaways and enabled people to order online rather than over the phone. The delivery logistics were still left to restaurants and takeaway joints.

In later years however, the ordering platforms expanded into food delivery, taking a lead from their younger competitors Delivery Hero and Deliveroo. led the charge with its “Scoober” service, which launched in 2016. It is now available in 70 cities, and delivered 3 million orders in 2018. Just Eat followed, trialling its first deliveries in 2017. It has since been plugging cash into expanding the service.

Deliveroo essentially did the reverse. It launched by working with restaurants in need of a delivery partner but as of last year, began allowing merchants who run their own delivery operations onto its "marketplace". This is, in part, so that Deliveroo can further expand into smaller towns and cities (currently Just Eat’s stronghold in the UK). It’s also another way to increase overall order volume for the company and lower costs.

Uber Eats is also increasingly interested in smaller cities. It says orders outside of major capital cities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are growing 300% annually and now account for 40% of orders.

The companies are also looking beyond delivery (see below).


Keatz, like Taster, thinks that creating food brands solely for delivery makes for tastier takeaways.

Amy Lewin

Amy Lewin is Sifted’s editor and cohost of Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast , and writes Up Round, a weekly newsletter on VC. Follow her on X and LinkedIn