Startups are not known for doing things the traditional way, but celebrating your birthday with a hedgehog made out of raw meat is a whole other kind of innovation. Staff at Delivery Hero, which operates as Lieferheld in Germany, celebrated its second birthday with the bizarre German pork dish called Mettigel – and they can look back on a successful two years.
The pace at which the online food ordering service has grown has been impressive. Starting out in 2010, the company now operates in 12 markets worldwide, with more than 30,000 participating restaurants – 7,000 of which are in Germany.
Most recently their subsidiary Delivero merged with Russian food ordering service Foodik, brining 1,000 restaurants in Moscow and St Petersburg under the company umbrella.
And in February, Delivery Hero secured a controlling stake in UK site HungryHouse and German site Lieferheld, while the acquisition of OnlinePizza Norden Group in March gave access to the Swedish, Austrian and Polish markets. That was followed in August by the acquisition of Pizza Online, a Finnish company. They each operate independently under different trade names, but fall into the Delivery Hero group.
The company refused to reveal any growth statistics, but with additional websites in Australia, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, China and South Korea, they have become one of the world’s biggest food ordering companies as they blow out the two candles.
Not bad – and it’s easy to see how they have managed such growth, with company closing a €40 million round in August, bringing the total raised capital to €80 million.
It’s estimated that the online food ordering market is worth €75 billion in total, which is perhaps part of the reason why investors including ru-Net, Tengelmann Ventures, Kite Ventures, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Point Nine Capital, Kreos Capital and Team Europe have poured money into the business.
CEO Fabian Siegel said that with 250 international employees here in Berlin, the biggest perk of being in the German capital for business in the last two years was its global outlook: “Here in Berlin we find more and more startups that are global from the start, with international and English speaking team. The majority of the team at Lieferheld is from outside of Germany and English is our work language.”
He added: “Berlin has great startups that innovate and disrupt their space, such as Soundcloud or Wooga, as well as global ecommerce startups such as Zalando. In addition to these players, many small and innovative startups, such as Amen, make Berlin one of the best places in Europe to start a company.”
To mark its birthday, the company is distributing 400,000 golden pizza boxes across the country. Each of these special boxes will contain a €5 euro voucher, which can be claimed by submitting a picture of yourself with the box to the Lieferheld Facebook page. The ten photos with the highest number of Facebook likes will go into the draw to win a Smart car, while the funniest photo will win a Samsung Galaxy 3. On top of this 20 Playstation consoles and three Samsung S3 Mini’s will be given away.