The “Uber of something” startups are popping up and spreading everywhere, and Delivery.com is heading overseas in the hopes of putting some roots down before the others.
Today, the company is making its service available in Hong Kong, its first stop outside of the U.S. The company provides delivery services from local restaurants, grocery stores, wine and spirits shops, and laundries and dry cleaners. The company’s Hong Kong website will feature a selection of what it deems as the city’s top meals, spirits, and desserts.
Customers enter their address and receive a list of merchants and services in their immediate area. They can then browse selections and order from the Delivery.com website or app.
Interestingly, the company says it has chosen Hong Kong as its first international destination because it sees many similarities in the cultural and business environments between Hong Kong and New York City, where Delivery.com has its headquarters.
“A financial hub with a highly concentrated corporate center and residential footprint, Hong Kong is ripe for hyperlocal e-commerce and Delivery.com’s 10 years of online sales and marketing experience,” the company said in an official statement. “Long working hours, the growing popularity of team lunches, and an increasingly tech-savvy consumer support the need for a central online marketplace where busy professionals with limited free time can order high-quality delivery, particularly during lunchtime’s peak hours.”
The company will focus on serving the needs of Hong Kong’s financial and legal industries workers, which it says are its most active customer base. Hong Kong will have more than 260,000 such positions by 2016, eclipsing New York and London, according to London’s Center for Economics and Business Research.
Delivery.com also believes that its delivery service can help save some small merchants from closing down. The company claims that many of its current customers report that takeout and deliveries account for up to 40 percent of their overall business.
The company is also looking to grab a slice of the underserved potential market for food delivery in Hong Kong. London-based market intelligence firm Euromonitor’s January study reports that food delivery is currently less than 3 percent of Hong Kong’s total full-service restaurant revenue of $8.4 billion. It expects this share to increase.
Delivery.com is certainly not the only player in this sector: GrubHub, Seamless, Eat24, Postmates, and many others have been providing delivery services, whether exclusively focused on food or not. However, Delivery.com seems to be the first one to have reached Hong Kong, which could possibly give it the first-mover advantage in the region.
Back in the U.S., Delivery.com has an active presence mostly along the coasts as well as in a couple of other major cities. Delivery.com was founded in 2004 and has raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by Cantor Ventures, the venture capital arm of Cantor Fitzgerald.