The rivalry between takeaway / food delivery sites in Europe reached a new high. Dutch company Takeaway.com took a bite out of its British competitor Just Eat, with an acquisition of the latter's activities in The Netherlands and Belgium. Takeaway pays 22.5 million euro in cash.
Takeaway.com is one of the posterchilds of Dutch web & tech entrepreneurship. It is the parent company of Thuisbezorgd.nl, which in The Netherlands is a bit like a household brand. There's a very clear motive behind the acquisition.
CEO Jitse Groen: "(The Benelux activities of Just Eat) are complementary to our activities in The Netherlands and Belgium, and it will strengthen our leading position in these markets." (press release in pdf)
The company is already active in ten European countries and Vietnam. In Belgium it delivers fast food with the brand Pizza.be. That brand will remain, the name of Just Eat in NL & BE will soon vanish.
Eat your competitors
In 2014 Takeaway bought its German competitor Lieferando.de for 70 million euro. As Groen earlier said in the Financial Times: "there's no greenfield left". It really is 'eat or be eaten' in the European takeaway site market. Spokespersons therefore said "the winner takes all" in several Dutch media.
This is no unfamiliar game in Europe. Other Dutch startups in different sectors fight for this kind of dominance as well. P2P car sharing startups fight for a leading spot by acquiring competitors. Dutch Snappcar for instance battles French startup Drivy.
Takeaway vs Just Eat
Just Eat told Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool that it's market leader in 12 countries, but not in The Netherlands and Belgium. That's why they sold their business in these markets.
Just Eat entered the Dutch market in 2007 by acquiring a local competitor to Thuisbezorgd: hapsite.nl. According to the news site, around that time a marketing battle took place between the two rivals. As I heavily relied on takeaway meals back in my college years, I can recall.
Earlier this year there were hints at an IPO for Takeaway.com. A spokesperson told Dutch business newspaper FD however there's no way of such plans. The idea is to grow in Takeaway's existing markets. Just Eat (the parent company) is already listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Image: Riedelmeier @ Pixabay