Acquisition Spotlight: Carriage
During Arabnet Kuwait 2017, we sat down with Abdullah Al Mutawa, Co-founder and CEO of Carriage to discuss Carriage’s journey, the acquisition, and upcoming plans.
Carriage is a food-delivery service in Kuwait that offffffers delivery from registered restaurants, many of which don’t usually deliver, with live tracking of orders. Abdullah Al-mutawa, owner of The Stack restaurant and Founder of Carriage, came up with the business model after he wanted to start offffffering a delivery service for his restaurant and realized how hassling and expensive it would be to set up. Earlier this year, online food takeaway firm Delivery Hero, which sources have said is considering a flotation imminently, acquired Carriage for a disclosed amount of $100M. This is the highest IRR in the region to date. Carriage had received a seed capital fund of $1.3M in January 2016 to kick-start the project, and Kuwaiti investors increased the funding again last May. Delivery Hero operates in 53 countries internationally in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and partners with over 300,000 restaurants. What's interesting to note is that Rocket Internet has invested $613M in Delivery Hero. Rocket Internet acquired Carriage's main competitor, Talabat.com, in February 2015 for roughly $170M. During Arabnet Kuwait 2017, I sat down with Abdullah Al Mutawa, Co-founder and CEO of Carriage to discuss Carriage’s journey, the acquisition, and upcoming plans. Where did the idea of Carriage come from? What gap did you want to fill? Carriage first started when I had a restaurant. Once I opened the restaurant, I realized that the delivery arm is quite critical. The easy decision at the time was to join the existing platform market that was there, which was Talabat. We sat down with one of the owners of Talabat at the time, and my question to him was where could we get the logistics support for the delivery aspect. His response was that they purely are a market place, that they divert the order from the customer to the restaurant, and the restaurant takes care of the delivery. That’s when the idea just clicked. I felt there was a gap in the market. It’s a pain point when you’re talking about labor-intensive endeavors, and having drivers and vehicles and maintenance towards that, it's a huge capital-intensive endeavor. I wasn’t aware that the business model exists worldwide until we conducted some research and we learnt that the business model does exist and has been proven successful, yet that it has not been implemented in the region. So we got the idea, and sat down with our other cofounders, Musab Al Mutawa, Khaled Al Qabandi, and Jonathan Lau, each working