Ac­qui­si­tion Spot­light: Car­riage

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Industry Stories - By Rita Makhoul | @Ram­pur­ple

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

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