Here’s how Deliveroo plans to just eat its competitors

This interview is part of our series of Growth Stories. We interviewed the founders and CEOs of 20 of the fastest growing startups in Europe. We asked them about their companies, their companies’ culture, and their lives, trying to understand how these three factors played a role in the achievement of such impressive growth.

The digital revolution disrupted almost all businesses. A fierce competition ensued and, in many cases, clear winners emerged. For example, nowadays, Spotify is synonymous with online music, Google has a near-monopoly on online searches, and Amazon is the gold standard of e-commerce.

However, there are other sectors where the competition has been even harder and no undisputed ruler has triumphed. Food delivery is an example. There are dozens of apps that are fighting to become the Spotify, Google or Amazon of food delivery but none of them have fully succeeded yet. Among these apps, we find Deliveroo, Foodora, and UberEats. And I’m mentioning just the ones whose riders I could summon with my smartphone right now.

To find out more about what’s going on in this highly competitive sector, I reached out to Mike Hudack, Deliveroo’s Chief Technical Officer.

Founded in 2013 by Americans Will Shu and Greg Orlowski, Deliveroo won Tech5 UK in 2017 with a growth in revenue of more than 7,500 percent.

Recently, the company laid out a radical plan that includes the automation of deliveries and the intention of making its own food. The aim is to raise the company’s profit margins from today’s level of 15 percent to a whopping 33 percent.

During our conversation, Hudack – a high-school dropout arrived in Deliveroo after four years with Facebook – described on several occasions the consequences of his company’s approach to business as “powerful.”

On this, we can all agree: Deliveroo and similar services are transforming society in a powerful way. Whether this is mostly a good or a bad thing, it largely depends on which seat you are given – for luck or for merit – in that reckless ride that is the gig economy. If it’s the saddle of your own bike, at times it might not be that comfy.