It was one of the stranger things going on in the food delivery scene, which is not exactly lacking in surprising volts. Doordash, one of the major providers in North America with an annual turnover of 4.9 billion dollars, did not start its European business last fall in one of the megacities, as expected, but in the comparatively small Stuttgart.
Not only the place of the attack on Lieferando and others came as a surprise, but also the time. Just a few days earlier, Doordash had announced that it would take over its European competitor Wolt for seven billion euros in shares. Nevertheless, the founder of the company, Andy Fang, who flew to Stuttgart, insisted at the time that he wanted to set up a “sustainable business” in Germany. He had already advertised positions for cities like Hamburg and Berlin for Doordash.
It is now clear: the Doordash brand has no future in Germany. The Wolt brand alone will be continued in Germany, a spokesman for WELT said. The 60 employees who are supposed to set up Doordash in Germany are to move from Friedrichstrasse in Berlin to the Wolt Germany headquarters in the former MTV office on the Spreeufer of the East Side Gallery.
The background is the now completed completion of the Wolt takeover by Doordash, which the Americans will announce on Wednesday. The deal has become arithmetically cheaper: After all, Doordash is paying off the Wolt investors entirely with its own shares, which have lost almost 50 percent of their value since the beginning of the year in the wake of the stock market turbulence.
With the takeover, the delivery service Wolt, founded by the Finn Miki Kuusi, will finally lose its independence, although the brand will remain in Europe and Japan. For Doordash, which has so far been active almost exclusively in North America, the acquisition is the big step onto the European markets.
With a lot of venture capital, Kuusi started in 2014 a few years after the Lieferando group Just Eat Takeaway and the Dax group Delivery Hero, but quickly gained market share in 23 countries. Since 2020, Wolt has also expanded the German business from Berlin – now in 13 cities. The provider with the blue lettering is primarily competing with Lieferando. Deliveries from supermarkets are also to be gradually added.
Wolt founder Kuusi will remain on board after the takeover and will be in charge of international business, including responsibility for the Berlin Doordash team. The new parent company Doordash is also involved in the super-fast German delivery service Flink. According to Doordash, the participation is “strategic”. However, the group is silent about further plans for Flink.
It will be a while before users in Stuttgart see the Wolt brand. “Wolt is not yet operational in Stuttgart and we are working on a launch plan,” said the spokesman. In addition, Doordash has to find a solution for the couriers there.
Unlike Wolt, the Americans did not hire the cyclists in Stuttgart themselves, but instead work with a service provider. Wolt, on the other hand, has an impressive number of 3,500 employees in Germany, since many couriers do not work full-time. In the current year, the provider wants to double its Berlin team for tech and product, it said.
Delivery Hero was also among those interested in the Wolt takeover last fall. However, the Berlin group had to lag behind its financially stronger and significantly higher valued US rival.
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