Delivery.com receiving investor approaches; watchful of buys in new verticals – CEO

Provided exclusively by Mergermarket

Delivery.com, an online food, beverage, grocery and laundry delivery company, is regularly approached by interested investors, but is not entertaining fresh capital for the time being, said CEO Jed Kleckner.

The New York City-based company, backed by the venture capital arm of financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, has 2m registered users. Financial discipline has been the cornerstone of Delivery.com’s to-date growth strategy, Kleckner said. The company has received several capital different offers recently, but is hesitant to “over finance” itself, he said.

Kleckner declined to provide specific financial results, but said the company’s laundry and liquor categories are experiencing “triple-digit” and “outsized growth versus the market.”

New partnerships in the quarters ahead — such as those the company has already agreed to with Uber and Yelp (NYSE:YELP) — will be a focus for Delivery.com as it pushes towards profitability. The company’s “marketplace” consists of more than 12,000 local service providers.

Many platforms have bought their way into growth by offering freebies and so forth, which Kleckner said he sees as unsustainable. Although he wants to trial other verticals and enter markets beyond the US, Kleckner said that these are desires rather than needs.

So far, Delivery.com made three acquisitions: the first, in 2009, of New York City-based Eats Media; the second in 2013 of New York City-based Brinkmat, an e-commerce platform for laundry and dry-cleaning scheduling and ordering; and the latest in April 2016 of Austin, Texas-based BrewDrop, an online liquor, wine, and beer store. The latter two were “transformative” to the business, while the first was more of a “talent acquisition,” Kleckner explained.

Although remaining watchful for opportunities to enter new verticals in delivery, such as pharmacy, Kleckner said he is not actively pursuing any specific targets at this time.

An influx of new web-based delivery platforms in different niches in recent years means that Delivery.com should be able to avail of good value on future buys, avoiding paying ”exorbitant sums,” Kleckner observed, with questions of company culture and governance to the front of his mind. Smaller sector players seeking to be acquired approach the company frequently, he said.

Food delivery is the company’s anchor, Kleckner said, explaining that it has begun exploring ways of teaming food with other products on the platform, specifically wine, and packaging them for customers.

Kleckner pointed to Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) as an example of a business that has successfully introduced new categories to its customers. Delivery.com allows customers to “cross-collateralize” points within its loyalty system.

Two areas identified potential for growth – alcohol and pharmacy – will be slow because of variance in regulatory regimes state-to-state, according to Kleckner.

Delivery.com has between 75 and 80 employees.

by Siobhán Brett

As seen in the mergermarket newsletter on 21/06/2016

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