Glovo opens tech hub in Poland after gobbling up local food delivery rival – TechCrunch

Barcelona-based on-demand delivery startup Glovo is boosting its engineering capacity by opening a second tech hub, the first in Poland – with an initial plan to hire 40 additional engineers and a total of 50 experts techniques and products working mainly in its Warsaw office.

Glovo says he expects the Polish engineering hub to eventually represent half of its technological capacity. It will primarily focus on developing user-oriented features for its marketplace product and for partners operating on the platform, he adds.

It also has plans for further expansion of the facility down the line – and an overall roadmap for its business of a 300-strong engineering team to support the development of its on-demand service offering.

Its pitch is “everything” delivered on demand, from fast food to groceries to pharmaceuticals, as long as it is small and light enough to be handled by one of the couriers picking up the work on its platform. form.

While there is no doubt that fast food is currently the bulk of Glovo’s orders, the startup has tried to branch out into online grocery deliveries to compete with giants like Amazon, including setting up its own warehouses. able to process orders in 20 minutes, 24 hours a day. (He calls these “dark supermarkets” SuperGlovo – “super” which means “supermarket” in Spanish. Although his “dark” model has also caught the attention of Barcelona city council for without correct license.)

In August Spanish media reported that Glovo himself made the purchases – purchasing the Polish food delivery platform Pizza Portal for an acquisition price billed up to 35 million euros (around $ 39 million).

Glovo raised a $ 169 million Series D in April, which included an investment from Drake, owner of the global pizza franchise Papa John’s, giving him the means and motivation to swallow up smaller rivals in the food industry. food delivery.

Poland is one of its existing markets in Europe. (Although Pizza Portal offers different types of fast food for delivery, not just pizza.)

In total, Glovo operates in more than 20 countries at this stage, although its densest operating markets remain its home market, Spain and Italy.

In Poland, it operates in just eight cities – so the acquisition of Pizza Portal seems destined to strengthen its footprint there, with the latter being seen as the largest catering platform in the market – even as Glovo doubles the expanding its engineering capacity by tapping into local technological talent.

At the same time, competition for on-demand delivery, and particularly food delivery, remains fierce in Europe, where a number of players – including Deliveroo, JustEat and Uber Eats – are vying for territory. And, in some cases, consume each other to carve out a bigger share of lunch in key markets.

Where Glovo doesn’t operate in Europe highlights some of this ongoing food struggle, with no offerings in Germany or the UK, for example. Its regional strategy focuses on the South and the East. It has also developed an international activity, opening up to the markets of Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Fast scaling is certainly at the heart of Glovo’s playbook, however. He says it was launched in a new city every four days on average last year, while the startup founded in 2015 now employs more than 1,300 people in total.

Glovo founder Oscar Pierre will join us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin in December to discuss growing an on-demand delivery business. You can read more about Disrupt Conference Passes here.

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