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Just-Eat has appetite for expansion

posted 24 Mar 2011, 17:27 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 24 Mar 2011, 17:31 ]
The London-based online food ordering service Just-Eat has raised $48 million in funding which it says will be used to accelerate the company's international roll-out plans.
UK-ONLINE FOOD - Late afternoon at Ginnan - an independent Japanese restaurant in London.

The doors haven't even opened for the evening, and the first order has already come through.

SOT

The order was not made through this restaurant's own online ordering system - but one belonging to Just-Eat, a London based company that's made a business out of connecting hungry internet users to restaurants in their local vicinity.

Just-Eat has just raised 48 million dollars in funding from leading venture capital firms Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures and existing investor Index Ventures.

Klaus Nyengaard is the CEO of Just-Eat.

 Klaus Nyengaard, Just-Eat CEO saying

"Our vision is takeaway the smart way. The customers, they're accessing takeaway restaurants in a more convenient and easier way. There's a number of advantages to doing this online. For example you can pay with your card. You can store your favourites. We have a great choice of restaurants in each postcode. You don't need to save menu cards. And for the restaurants, there's also some obvious advantages. They're getting orders that they would not otherwise have gotten. They don't understand in the same way as we do how to create a volume business on the internet."

Reuters reporter Matt Cowan saying "The investment in Just-Eat came just a week after a U.S.-based online ordering service called GrubHub announced 20 million dollars in funding. So why is food at your fingertips suddenly such a hot property?"

After all, e-commerce has typically been seen as a force that directs traffic away so-called bricks and mortar businesses...that is, until the success of the daily deals site Groupon.

Ben Holmes is a partner with Index Ventures and sits on the Just-Eat board.

 Ben Holmes, Index Ventures Partner and Just-Eat Board Member saying 

"I actually do think the market is reading across a lot from what was going on with Groupon, where you could see businesses which VCs tradionally might have been frightened of because there was too much field sales and feet on the street and hardware and all sorts of complexity and now people realize there are some good business models that you can run which blend a mixture of the old world, as i say field sales with the new world which is digital, digitally delivered and digitally marketed goods and services and I think Just-Eat fits very nicely into that category."

Index first invested in the company in 2009 and increased its stake in the company as part of the recent round.

The pins in this map reflect the territories where Just-Eat is already operating. Nyengaard says the new investment will help accelerate the company's international rollout.

Klaus (New-in-GARd) Nyengaard, Just-Eat CEO saying

"We actually today have a profitable business but we are world-leaders and want to cement our world-leading position. We need to move into a lot a new geographies. Some of these geographies we're going to move into via partnerships and acquisitions so of course we need a war chest in order to do that.

Already Just-Eat says it's helping to tend to the hunger of over 5 million customers per month, which it predicts will generate over 500 million dollars in revenue for local businesses this year. And infused with new cash, it will probably be buying a fresh batch in red pins in the near future.

Matt Cowan, Reuters.

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