Online takeaway ordering service Just-Eat is moving to gain a greater share of the corporate catering market after acquiring food delivery provider Urbanbite for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition comes six months after venture capital firms Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures co-led a $48 million (£30 million) financing round for the growing London-based e-commerce business. It also follows the announcement last month of a partnership with RestauranteWeb in Brazil that enables the company to tap into the emerging market’s booming online takeaway market.
Following Just-Eat’s deal with Urbanbite, which sees the company take a 100 per cent stake, and the brand added to the Just-Eat Group, founder Ben Carmona will remain with the enlarged company in a leadership role.
Urbanbite, founded in 2000, operates a corporate account scheme whereby employees of major organisations can order dinner online at the company’s expense. About 60 per cent of Urbanbite’s 15,000 orders a month come from corporate customers, says a statement from the business.
The deal is the second buy-out for Urbanbite, originally Orangepip.com, after Carmona, a former British Airways IT executive, sold to Lastminute.com in 2001. Carmona reacquired the company seven years later.
Carmona says, ‘We are delighted to be joining forces with a major and influential player like Just-Eat. This, I believe, will give the business the boost and credibility it needs to make significant inroads into the lucrative corporate market.
David Buttress, managing director for UK at Just-Eat, adds, ‘The corporate market is one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry, and this acquisition not only further consolidates our position as the UK’s leading online takeaway provider, but helps us establish a strong grasp on the key London and corporate markets.’
The Urbanbite deal is the third acquisition Just-Eat have made in 2011, following the Brazilian partnership and the purchase of Hungry Zone in India earlier in the year.
Just-Eat was originally founded in Denmark in 2000 and then launched in 2001. After some initial years of boot strapped growth, the business moved to the UK in 2006. It closed its a Series A investment round for £10.5 million in 2009.