Its just been a week that Ola has acquired Mumbai-based Ridlr, now it is being reported that the homegrown cab-haling firm has held talks to buy private label food startup FreshMenu following its purchase of food ordering app Foodpanda, said a Live Mint report, citing three people familiar with the matter.
Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) has held talks to buy Bengaluru headquartered food brand Freshmenu (Foodvista India Pvt. Ltd) and at least one similar firm, the people cited above said. No deal has been agreed yet with either firm, they said, on condition of anonymity as the talks are private.
Ola may raise funds separately for Foodpanda later this year to tap the strong investor demand for food-tech startups, the people said.
Founded in 2014 by Rashmi Daga, Freshmenu is a food delivery company that serves pan-Asian cuisine and runs its own kitchen and delivery operations. The company has raised $21.5M in total funding to date, from investors including Zodius Capital and Lightspeed Ventures.
In December, Ola bought Foodpanda India from its German parent Delivery Hero AG in an all-stock deal and said it will invest $200 million to expand Foodpanda’s operations. Ola has made founding partner Pranav Jivrajka CEO of Foodpanda.
The proposed creation of a separate food entity is also part of Ola’s plan to have a group company-like structure similar to that of online retail firm Flipkart Ltd, the people said. Apart from its core cab hailing business and Foodpanda, Ola has a payments business called Ola Money. It also bought public transportation app Ridlr last week for an undisclosed amount.
Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal is considering ways to have independent assets that can together increase Ola’s valuation. Ola’s inspiration is its Bengaluru neighbour Flipkart, whose ownership of fashion retailers Myntra and Jabong as well as payments app PhonePe has made it more attractive to investors.
Coming back to food delivery companies in India, India’s Ola and America’s Uber, instead of solely doing cab aggregation business, have had entered into online food delivery market to heat up market preposition for old player like Zomato. It may be recalled that in January it was reported that UK-based Food delivery firm Deliveroo, also one of the best funded European startups, is in the process of hiring a country head along with setting up a full-fledged team in India.