Another delivery service

DoorDash is the market leader in food delivery in the US and apparently plans to come to Germany. It would be the fourth new provider within a few months. Can that go well? An analysis.

See you in Berlin: A DoorDash driver in Los Angeles checks a delivery on his smartphone.

Wif he likes to order food on the Internet, he will soon have even more choices. As it became known this week, after several other new providers, the American market leader DoorDash is apparently planning a start in Germany. The company, which has a market share of 55 percent in the USA, published a series of job vacancies on the professional network LinkedIn, with which it is looking for personnel in Germany. Among other things, a boss for the German business based in Berlin is wanted, as well as a strategy and logistics boss and recruiter for delivery drivers.

The DoorDash announcement comes after three new providers came onto the market in the past few months. Before the turn of the year, the Finnish service Wolt started in Germany, at the beginning of May it was followed by Uber Eats, the food delivery division of the American transport service. Last week, the Berlin delivery company Delivery Hero prominently announced that it would return to its home market two years after the sale of its former German business under the “Foodpanda” brand, in order to again deliver pizza, Thai curry and schnitzel.

For DoorDash it would be the first expansion into Europe, but it would probably not be the only one. Compared to the Financial Times, a spokesman did not want to confirm a planned start in Germany, but said the company was “continuously investigating growth opportunities as we aim to strengthen our international presence”. There have long been reports that DoorDash is also looking for takeover destinations in the UK to enter the market.

End of the Lieferando monopoly

In addition to food, DoorDash also supplies other everyday goods in the USA, such as drugstore items, pet food and flowers. It is expected that the service will also offer this in Germany, because the market for deliveries from supermarkets is growing strongly here. The consulting company KPMG put the growth in sales with “e-food” in Germany at 67 percent in one year.

The German food delivery market has been dominated by Lieferando, the local service of the Dutch delivery company Just Eat Takeaway, since 2018. For almost two years it held a virtual monopoly on online food orders and did not attract attention because it was developing its service in a particularly innovative manner. With 10,000 couriers in 50 cities, it still has by far the largest delivery network in Germany. So far, Wolt only delivers in four cities (Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Hanover), Uber Eats only in Berlin. Delivery Hero also only wants to start in downtown Berlin for the time being.

Another competitor is in the starting blocks

Nevertheless, the new competition Lieferando could well take off. This is especially true because another competitor is warming up: The Estonian driving service Bolt announced on Tuesday that it will be offering electric scooters for hire in nine German cities with immediate effect. Bolt is known in Eastern Europe for the private car service business that became famous through Uber, and the start-up has received more than 200 million dollars from investors to date.