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European online food delivery company makes first move into Asia with Pakistan deal

Urbanite Pakistan online food delivery

The online food ordering and delivery market in Pakistan is getting really hot and spicy. Today, Denmark-based online food delivery company E-Takeaway reveals it has expanded into Pakistan by merging with a local startup. (Update: The word “acquisition” has been changed to “merger” as it was only a partial stake acquired). The deal – no financial details are disclosed – sees Urbanite.pk being run as the Danish company’s Pakistan business.

E-Takeaway is operating in five European countries right now. The firm is aiming at as many as 15 countries around the world by the end of the year. E-Takeaway’s homepage indicates it’s working on launching in Hong Kong and possibly Australia, so this Pakistani move looks to be the first of several into Asia-Pacific.

Urbanite.pk might be a familiar name to Pakistan’s web users as one of the earliest online food delivery options. The service should get a new lease of life – and fresh funds – thanks to the buy-out. Michael Meyrowitsch from E-Takeaway says that Urbanite already has several thousand users, and a catalog of over 100 restaurants, all of which appear to be in Karachi.

But that’s rather slow progress compared to some of its rivals, which means that Urbanite doesn’t have much in the way of first-over advantage among comsumers.

Prepping for a kung-fu Foodpanda fight

The most formidable rival is Rocket Internet’s Foodpanda. That already runs in nine Pakistani cities, and has Rocket’s huge funding war chest to help it expand rapidly.

(See: How Rocket Internet is getting into Pakistan on the ground floor)

Another very strong local rival is EatOye. Well known for years as an online food guide, the site switched to food deliveries in February with 13 cities now covered.

Urbanite has a 20-person team right now, says Meyrowitsch. The crew is confident that it has the resources and infrastructure to battle Foodpanda and other rivals in Pakistan. Meyrowitsch points to its cold storage facilities as one edge, allowing the site to deliver ice creams and cakes. The Danish firm also claims that Urbanite has better tech for integrating with restaurants, and will use quality customer service as another way to differentiate its service.

Editing by Terence Lee

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