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Gone are the days when ordering food meant long waits on hold, limited menu options, and lacklustre delivery experiences. With the emergence of innovative food delivery platforms, such as Deliveroo, consumers can now enjoy a wide variety of restaurant-quality meals, delivered straight to their doorsteps. Understanding the impact of Deliveroo on the food delivery industry requires diving into its history, business model, and the factors contributing to its success.


History of Deliveroo

Deliveroo was founded in 2013 by Will Shu and Greg Orlowski in London, England. The duo spotted a growing market gap for high-quality food delivery options. Shu, a former investment banker, and Orlowski, a software developer, envisioned a platform that would revolutionize the food delivery landscape. They introduced an app-based service connecting consumers with a vast network of local restaurants and independent couriers.


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Business model


Food delivery application online on mobile 3d illustration


Deliveroo's business model is centered around providing a seamless and efficient food delivery experience. The company operates as an intermediary between consumers, restaurants, and couriers. Customers can browse menus, place orders, and track deliveries through the Deliveroo app or website.

Restaurants partner with Deliveroo by joining their platform, giving them access to a broader customer base without the need for additional delivery infrastructure. Deliveroo charges restaurants a commission fee for each order processed through their platform.

Delivery is the core element of Deliveroo's business model. The company recruits a fleet of independent couriers, often referred to as Deliveroo riders, to pick up orders from restaurants and deliver them to customers. 

These riders operate on a flexible basis, allowing them to work when and where they choose. Deliveroo's sophisticated algorithm provides real-time delivery routing and optimization, ensuring an efficient and timely service.


Factors contributing to success

  1. Technology and User Experience: Deliveroo leverages cutting-edge technology to offer a seamless user experience. Their app is user-friendly and allows customers to easily browse and order from a wide range of restaurants. With features like live tracking and estimated delivery times, customers are kept informed throughout the entire process.
  2. Restaurant Partnerships: Deliveroo has established partnerships with thousands of high-quality restaurants worldwide. This extensive network ensures customers have access to a diverse range of culinary options, from local favourites to Michelin-starred establishments. By aligning themselves with reputable and popular restaurants, Deliveroo has cultivated a strong brand image.
  3. Logistic Efficiency: Deliveroo's logistics infrastructure is a key component of its success. By optimizing the delivery process and utilizing a large network of independent riders, the company can offer fast and reliable delivery services. Their algorithmic routing ensures that riders can efficiently manage multiple orders, improving overall delivery times and customer satisfaction.
  4. Expansion and Global Reach: Deliveroo has expanded rapidly since its inception and now operates in over 200 cities across 12 countries. This impressive global reach has allowed them to tap into new markets and attract a large customer base. By adapting its services to local preferences and needs, Deliveroo has successfully established itself as a leading food delivery platform worldwide.

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Impact on the food delivery industry

Deliveroo's entry into the food delivery industry has disrupted traditional models and brought about significant changes. It has forced established players to reevaluate their strategies and adapt to an increasingly digital landscape. The company's success has also inspired the emergence of similar food delivery platforms, leading to increased competition and innovation in the industry.

One of the notable impacts of Deliveroo is the expansion of food delivery options beyond traditional fast food. With its emphasis on high-quality cuisine, Deliveroo has been instrumental in changing customer perceptions regarding the types of food that can be delivered. Independent and smaller restaurants, which previously struggled with establishing a delivery infrastructure, can now reach a larger audience through Deliveroo.

Furthermore, Deliveroo has created new income opportunities for independent couriers. The flexible working arrangements offered by the company allow riders to earn income on their terms. This gig economy model has both positive and negative implications, with critics highlighting potential issues around worker rights and job security.


Challenges and future outlook

Despite its success, Deliveroo has faced challenges along the way. One significant obstacle has been regulatory scrutiny in various markets. In some jurisdictions, concerns have been raised regarding the classification of riders' employment status and the impact of the gig economy on workers' rights. Deliveroo has had to navigate these challenges and adapt its business model to comply with regulations in different countries.

Looking ahead, Deliveroo aims to continue expanding its market presence and enhancing its services. 

The company is investing in innovative technologies such as drone and robotic deliveries, to further streamline its operations. Additionally, they are exploring partnerships with grocery stores and beauty retailers to diversify their offerings and capture a larger share of the market.


Financial performance of Deliveroo in 2023


A 3D bar graph with a rising trend line indicating an upward trend


In 2023, Deliveroo's financial performance showed some notable trends and outcomes. The company reported a loss for the period of £82.9 million, which was an improvement compared to the previous year's loss of £153.8 million. 

This indicates a 46% reduction in losses. Their free cash flow also improved significantly, showing an 84% increase with a reduction in cash flow loss from £168.7 million to £27.7 million. However, there was a decrease in net cash by 16%, from £1,130.1 million to £947.8 million.

For the 2023 outlook, Deliveroo narrowed its GTV growth guidance to lower single-digit percentage growth in constant currency. This was a slight adjustment from the previous guidance of low-to-mid single-digit percentage growth. 

Additionally, the company upgraded its 2023 adjusted EBITDA guidance to a range of £60-80 million, reflecting strong performance in the first half of the year and further investments planned for the second half.

Deliveroo's CEO, Will Shu, expressed satisfaction with the company's progress, noting that they delivered strong financial performance despite challenging macroeconomic conditions. He highlighted the company's focus on innovation, particularly for consumers, and mentioned 

Deliveroo's progress towards generating consistent positive free cash flow. Shu also pointed out the company's strategic growth opportunities in various sectors like grocery and non-food retail, and the proposal of an additional £250 million capital return to shareholders based on Deliveroo's strong capital position.

In terms of operating performance, in the first half of 2023, Deliveroo saw a 3% growth in GTV (1% in constant currency) and a 5% increase in revenue (3% in constant currency). This growth was attributed to improved performance through the period, with GTV growth of (1)% in Q1 and 3% in Q2, both in constant currency. 

The company also made strides in scaling its advertising business, reaching an annualized revenue run-rate of £55 million.

Deliveroo's mission remains to be the definitive online food company, focusing on offering the best value proposition to all three sides of its marketplace: consumers, restaurant and grocery partners, and riders. The company aims to drive sustainable long-term value through investments in areas like increased selection, geographic expansion, brand-building, and consumer engagement.

Overall, Deliveroo's financial performance in 2023 reflects a company navigating through challenging economic conditions while making strategic moves to position itself for long-term growth and profitability


Latest Deliveroo share price

As of December 13, 2023, the latest share price for Deliveroo PLC (ROO: LSE) was reported to be 131.10 GBX, experiencing a decline of 7.30 GBX or 5.27% from its previous close. The trading activity for the day involved around 2.96 million shares.

This price represents a significant increase from its 52-week low of 76.82 GBX, but it is still below its 52-week high of 149.40 GBX. The market capitalization for Deliveroo at this price stands at approximately 2.11 billion GBP


Final thoughts

Deliveroo has revolutionized the food delivery industry by offering a convenient and efficient platform connecting consumers with a broad range of restaurants. With its emphasis on technology, user experience, and efficient logistics, the company has disrupted traditional models, forcing established players to adapt. 

While facing regulatory challenges and competition, Deliveroo continues to grow and expand globally, solidifying its position as a leading player in the food delivery market. 

As consumer preferences continue to evolve, Deliveroo's innovative approach is likely to shape the future of the food delivery industry.

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“When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.” 

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