Foodpanda making waves in food-delivery sector

Local food venture Foodpanda is the country's top online food ordering and delivery platform after it added popular restaurant chain Pastamania to its offerings this week, claimed Ralf Wenzel, its co-founder and chief executive officer.

"Foodpanda currently has the largest customer base and the most number of partner restaurants (over 200) on its platform. Pastamania adds value to this list as many of our customers asked for it when we surveyed them for recommended restaurants," he said.

While he declined to disclose actual sales figures, Mr Wenzel said that more than 100,000 people have downloaded Foodpanda's app since it was launched in March.

"Other smaller players are more focused on providing logistic services to restaurants, and hence in our field, I can proudly say we are No 1 in Singapore and Asia," he said.

The partnership with Pastamania - known for its casual-dining ambience and its pizza and pasta dishes - includes all of its 30 outlets here.

While acknowledging that Pastamania has its own delivery service, Mr Wenzel said: "Our customers love the simplicity of ordering on our easy-to-use platform. They want all their favourite food items and restaurants at one place without the pain of registering on several platforms. That's where Foodpanda comes in." Foodpanda, started by German start-up Rocket Internet, made its debut in Singapore and South-east Asia in March last year.

In May this year, it acquired fellow food delivery platform Singapore-Dine, and secured partnerships with Singapore-based online supermarket Redmart and mobile loyalty card app Perx.

It received two rounds of funding totalling more than US$28 million (S$35 million) earlier this year, which Mr Wenzel said will be used to expand the company's footprint globally.

Foodpanda operates in 28 countries across Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, and has plans to expand to more Asian countries.

Mr Wenzel is optimistic about the firm's prospects here. As Singapore is densely populated, food can be delivered quickly because of the short distances between the urbanised areas, making the nation a fast-growing market, he said.

"Singapore is also an important country for us to increase our global range in South-east Asia. The e-commerce market in Asia is growing rapidly, too, and we are happy to take part in this great development," he added.

According to Tech in Asia, a technology blog, Singapore- based Food Runner is another major player with more than 70 partner restaurants in Singapore and South-east Asia, 50,000 registered users and annual revenue of more than US$450,000.,, Gourmet To Go, Thai To Go and George Delivery are other players in the region. Michael Brehm, CEO of global investment company Rebate Networks which backs Food Runner, reckons the South-east Asian food delivery market will hit US$390 million by 2015, with the emergence of a new middle class and more urbanisation.

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