Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysian food delivery riders on ‘blackout’ to protest poor pay

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Malaysia is currently experiencing a nation-wide ‘blackout’ of food delivery services, as local reports have suggested that a large number of food delivery riders will be protesting starting this day amidst requests to improve payment across food delivery rider partners.

According to a report from the Free Malaysia Today, the protest had been planned two to three weeks ago, as shared by the organiser Zulhelmi Mansor of the Persatuan Penghantar P-Hailing Malaysia. The posters posted on social media were posted with Grab and foodpanda logos.

In response to the protests, Grab Malaysia has released a statement via The Star, clarifying that there was no reduction in base fares for their delivery services. Instead, it was due to a glitch in its system, where the rider noted a discrepancy in his earnings.

“We have since rectified the issue and have transferred the shortfall to all affected partners, and clarified the matter via our official communication channel to our partners on July 21. We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused for our partners and would like to encourage our partners to reach out to us,” they stated.

Grab Malaysia also added that in the past few months, they have introduced multiple efforts to support their delivery-partners, as well as releasing multiple promotions and campaigns to benefit their riders.

The recent updates in Malaysia’s food delivery space line up with the constant growth of food delivery companies in the country, with players including airasia ride and DeliverEat. Recently, airasia ride announced that its offering its gig riders full-time employment in a move to offer job stability and enhancement of income opportunities.

Strikes amongst food delivery riders have increased in the Southeast Asian region. For instance, foodpanda drivers in the Philippines have protested over poor pay conditions. As a result, the country’s National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) have recently ordered foodpanda to pay the seven dismissed riders around PHP2.2m who have participated in the protest.

Main Feature Platforms APAC

What’s NEXT: The state of dine-in, food aggregators moving forward in 2022

2022 sees most countries moving into endemic status with 61.6% of the world’s population receiving at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Whilst this statistic gives consumers the confidence to pursue a similar lifestyle to that of pre-pandemic, varied rules and regulations around mask-wearing, temperature checking, and in-dining seating capacity have affected dine-in volume at restaurants. Governments have also enacted strict policies to curb the spread of the virus allowing only fully vaccinated customers to dine in. This evidently impacted the channel dynamics and has shifted the channel mix in the food business.

But does this mean the dine-in business model is over?

The Quick Service Retail (QSR) remains resilient despite the fluid circumstances and it is essential for businesses to pivot towards contactless channels such as self-service kiosks, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) ordering system, and drive-in capabilities to meet the demands of the new norm. With disruptions to the dine-in services, brands are aggressively scaling up contactless delivery through e-commerce and giving rise to food aggregators. Will food aggregators dominate the way customers access food?

1. Understand your customer base

Countries with high mobile internet penetration may not necessarily translate into high food aggregators adoption. We may see higher demands in the urban areas with easy access to smartphones, internet banking, and mobile wallets usage, however, the outer cities in which the dine-in would still prevail are equally important to drive the volume.

2. Top-notch food quality

Most restaurants are preconditioned to serve food of the highest quality in a dynamic dine-in environment. But when it comes to food delivery, new service guidelines have to be designed to guarantee the same food quality are served considering longer delivery time to reach the customers. Working closely with aggregators especially in determining the delivery radius so that the food quality is intact upon reaching customers is important. Added investments in packaging are also required for the food to withstand the delivery journey.

3. Attractive on-going deals

With aggressive customer acquisition activities, each platform offers a plethora of deals to gain share of throats. Heavily subsidized promos to entice customer transactions are apparent in today’s e-commerce market. When value becomes parity, what would be the differentiation for customers to migrate from one platform to another? Strategic pricing and limited menus probably come into play in such scenarios.

4. Loyalty engines

Gamification, point systems, and rewards are common features on food aggregators today to ensure repeat purchases and consistent Daily Active Users (DAU) to avoid customer churn. Nowadays, customers are value-centric and preconditioned to compare the best deals utilizing social media and forums for peer reviews and validation.

5. Premium fees

Delivery platforms typically come with fees or differential pricing. Customers who are affluent enough would be comfortable paying the delivery fees for convenience and ease. However, value-conscious customers will look for an alternative such as self-collect options or discounts before making the final purchase decision.

With the uncertainties of the endemic, it would be premature to say that dine-in will return to its full glory with dining-in protocols and fluctuating COVID cases. Whilst food aggregators promise alternate access to food, there are many parameters to be considered for it to drive profitability and scale. The current customer acquisition mode requires significant investments into subsidies for the platform to sustain in the long run to consistently generate transactional volume. Both channels will continue to co-exist. Depending on the market dynamics, the channel mix will shift accordingly.

This article is written by May Ling Chan, CMO of KFC in Malaysia.

The article is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series What’s NEXT. This features marketing leaders sharing their marketing insights and predictions for the upcoming year. The series aims to equip marketers with actionable insights to future-ready their marketing strategies.

If you are a marketing leader and have insights that you’d like to share with regards to the upcoming trends and practices in marketing, please reach out to [email protected] for an opportunity to have your thought-leadership published on the platform.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Social food ordering platform Gobble secures fresh funding to launch in colleges

Singapore — Gobble, a social food ordering platform, has announced raising US$1.3m in a seed round co-led by BEENEXT and Flash Ventures. Notable angel investors who have backed Gobble in this round include Warren Tseng, former RGM, Uber APAC, Siddharth Shanker, former General Manager at Deliveroo Singapore, and Abhishek Sahay, regional director of foodpanda.

Gobble will use the funds to launch its platform across colleges, expand its tech and product team to scale, as well as improve the value proposition for restaurant partners. The platform was founded in 2021 by Ashwin Purushottam, founder and CEO, and Domenico Tan, co-founder and COO, who previously held extensive experiences working with companies such as Deliveroo, Foodpanda and Travis Kalanik’s CloudKitchens prior to founding Gobble.

In a survey conducted by the Gobble team among about 100 students from NTU, NUS and SMU, it was found that 96% already gift food to friends. With the social-food ordering market expected to grow to $4.5 billion in Southeast Asia by 2025, Gobble is the only player that focuses on group-based social ordering.

With that data, Gobble is setting its focus on redefining social interactions for food ordering, making it more collective and fun. Gobble has three distinct features — One, ‘Food Feed’ lets people view and order what their friends ordered instead of scrolling endlessly through delivery apps. Second, one can gift food to anyone with a cheeky message. Finally, students can create a ‘Gobble Party’ and invite their friends to group-buy discounted meals.

Ashwin Purushottam, founder and CEO of Gobble, shared the company’s vision, saying, “Through Gobble, we are building APAC’s first social food ordering platform built around food and friends. We not only benefit the end-users but also our restaurant partners through group orders.’’

Dirk van Quaquebeke, the managing partner at BEENEXT, commented, “Gobble is addressing a unique market opportunity. By using highly scalable technology, Gobble will bring millions together through food. We are thrilled to partner with the team on their journey to grow and expand to new markets.”

Lorenzo Franzi, founding partner of Flash Ventures, added, “The team is bringing a very human and local angle to food ordering and gifting while offering a completely new experience compared to the existing food platforms. We are excited about the strong team with deep experience, and are impressed by their early execution.”

Platforms Featured ANZ

Asian food delivery app HungryPanda acquires EASI, [email protected] from ANZ

Sydney, Australia – Asian food delivery platform HungryPanda is making its way to the ANZ region by acquiring food delivery app from Australia, EASI, and New Zealand’s food delivery platform [email protected] This follows HungryPanda’s successful US$130m fundraising in December 2021,

HungryPanda has a presence in 10 countries, which includes Australia, alongside US and UK, operating across more than 60 cities. The platform said the acquisition will help it improve its local operations, empower restaurants to achieve business success, and improve consumer experience by widening their choice of authentic Asian restaurants. Through this, HungryPanda aims to be the Asian food delivery leader in Australia and New Zealand, bringing the greatest choice of authentic Asian food to customers in all the major cities. 

Kelu Liu, HungryPanda’s founder and CEO, believes that these acquisitions are an important milestone for HungryPanda in continuing to build the leading overseas Asian food delivery platform. 

“By combining our world-class technology and delivery network with the wider coverage of restaurants we can now offer consumers, I am hugely excited about the future potential for our business in these important markets,” said Liu.

Meanwhile, Kitty Lu, EASI’s national operations manager, stated that the strategic alliance will increase its effectiveness and reach in a busy marketplace, both regionally and internationally. 

“EASI has been growing nationally at a rapid pace since our launch in Australia and internationally and we are excited by the potential we can achieve working with Eric and the team at HungryPanda,” said Lu.

Marketing Featured APAC

foodpanda celebrates 10th anniversary with new brand mascot

Singapore foodpanda, leading delivery and grocery platform in Asia, celebrates its 10th anniversary with the unveiling of its first-of-its-kind brand ambassador — Pau-pau. The mascot will be given its own unique characteristics and will be featured on foodpanda’s different marketing platforms.

The introduction of Pau-Pau builds on foodpanda’s earlier brand refresh. The pink panda is the platform’s venture towards new brand representation, where, aside from the traditional marketing environments, the new brand ambassador will also be utilized to maximize digital marketing touchpoints.

Idan Haim, foodpanda’s vice president for growth and marketing, commented, “Pau-Pau is a first-of-its-kind among food delivery platforms in Asia! More than anything else, we wanted to create a personality that evokes love among customers. We want Pau-Pau to be an inspiration for people to live life on their own terms and to its fullest. We are excited for our customers to meet Pau-Pau, as we mark the start of a new decade for foodpanda in Asia,” Haim said.

Pau-pau will be featured on the LINE and Instagram apps as an available sticker to bolster use in consumer expression and communication. It will progressively be rolled out into all of foodpanda channels and interfaces, namely the app, website, digital and social media platforms, as well as live-environment activations and more.

The mascot has been developed with a unique set of characteristics that will further help it relate with a wider range of audiences across the Asian market; foodpanda said Pau-pau believes in caring for the environment, empowerment, and living freely.

Eunha Bhang, chief creative officer of delivery hero Asia, gave her thoughts on the uniqueness of the character.

“In creating Pau-Pau, we wanted him to also have a dimension of purpose — that he stands for something more than just being an adorable mascot. Pau-Pau embodies and brings to life the foodpanda spirit by helping our communities reimagine how they use delivery and thereby adding vibrancy and fun in their lives,” she shared.

With the announcement of Pau-pau, one of the character’s key projects will be spearheading the campaign for plastic-free and environmentally-friendly consumerism with foodpanda’s Global Sustainable Packaging Programme to encourage merchant and consumer responsibility.

The one-of-its-kind ambassador was first rolled out in Japan, Taiwan, and Cambodia in December 2021, which was subsequently followed by its appearance in other foodpanda networks namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Laos. The next phase will introduce the ambassador in the Philippines, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Last November, foodpanda also announced its partnership with Chinese tech giant Xiaomi to venture into q-commerce allowing the option of purchasing consumer electronic products and appliances through its apps. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s internet economy surges to 93%, the highest in SEA

Manila, Philippines – With a fast-growing base of digital consumers and merchants, acceleration in e-commerce, and food delivery, the Philippines’ current internet economy has been recorded as the nation with the highest internet economy growth, with a rate of 93%, according to the latest collaborative research from Google, Temasek, Bain & Company. This has previously been predicted to grow from US$9b in 2020 to US$17b this year. 

Currently, the SEA region is estimated to reach US$174b in gross merchandise value (GMV) by the end of 2021. Furthermore, the region’s digital economy is further expected to reach US$360b by 2025, outgrowing the earlier projection of US$300b.

“Much like the rest of the region, the Philippines is entering its digital decade as the internet increasingly becomes an integral part of the consumers’ daily lives. The growth of the digital market in the country was driven by the explosive 132% growth in e-commerce and double-digit growth across all sectors including food delivery services,” noted the study.

The country has seen 12 million new digital consumers since the start of the pandemic, up to the first half of 2021. About 63% of those new digital consumers are from non-metro areas and 99% say that they intend to continue using these services going forward. Pre-pandemic users have consumed an average of 4.3 more services since the pandemic began and 95% of those pre-pandemic consumers are still found to be digitally-inclined consumers today.

“The pandemic has led to enduring digital adoption in Southeast Asia, which has propelled its internet economy to new heights. Temasek looks forward to increasing our investments in Southeast Asia’s digital champions, using our capital to catalyse digital solutions and accelerate economic growth and job opportunities for our local communities,” said Rohit Sipahimalani, chief investment strategist and head of Southeast Asia at Temasek.

It is estimated that the Philippines’ overall internet economy will likely reach US$40b in value, growing at 24% CAGR, which can be amplified due to strict lockdowns as well as heightened adoption of certain digital services.

Willy Chang, associate partner at Bain & Company, commented, “The Philippines’ internet economy is the fastest growing in SEA as a result of strict COVID-19 restrictions and a large number of new digital consumers. There remains ample headroom for growth as long as digital enablers continue to develop. For example, we saw a strong adoption of digital payment methods such as e-wallets and national real-time payment rails which facilitated the growth of the internet economy.” 

The report also noted that 39% of local digital merchants believe they would not have survived the pandemic if not for digital platforms. Digital merchants now use an average of two digital platforms, but profitability remains a top concern. Digital financial services saw very rapid growth this year, not only from e-wallets but also from the national payment rail. 

Of the digital merchants surveyed, 97% now accept digital payments, while 67% have adopted digital lending solutions. Many are also embracing digital tools to engage with their customers, with 68% expecting to increase usage of digital marketing tools in the next five years.

Bernadette Nacario, country director at Google Philippines said, “The digital adoption we’ve seen in the Philippines since last year has contributed to the accelerated growth of the country’s internet economy, magnifying its vast potential. Google is committed to helping Filipinos maximize the opportunities of going digital and helping the country shape an internet economy that is equitable, safe, and inclusive through programs and products that improve lives.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Filipinos order food delivery to avoid parking troubles, other facts on Grab PH’s ‘Food Trends Report’

Philippines – There’s no doubt that more than just being what used to be an exciting past-time and a convenient solution, online food deliveries have now become the crucial element this pandemic for both consumers and business owners, with strict national protocols enforcing everyone to stay within the premises of their own home.

Grab, the top ride-hailing app in Southeast Asia, that soon grew into a superapp has released its first-ever ‘Food Trends Report’ in the Philippines, drawing insights from its food delivery business GrabFood for the period of 2019-2021. 

For starters, the study shows that during this period, food delivery has also served to be Filipinos’ go-to solution in battling traffic and road problems. Pre-pandemic, these were already in Filipinos’ top dilemmas, and even now that times have changed, Filipinos are dealing with them the same even amid less opportunities for cars to roam freely in the streets. 

In the study which was conducted by NielsenIQ, it shows that among the top reasons Filipinos order food delivery in 2020 is so that they don’t need to worry about traffic or parking. This is together with Filipnos’ desire to satisfy cravings for food they can’t cook, and due to simply not having the time to cook. 

Grab Philippines_Filipinos
Infographic from Grab Philippines

Due to the demands of family that has been augmented by the ongoing pandemic, the report found that it is families who have children that order the most from food delivery, with 65% of them belonging to the 25-44 year-old bracket. 

With Filipinos looking to delivery as a save from the rigorous preparations of their favorite dishes; pizza, cake, and pasta were found to be some of the favorite food items that Filipinos like to search on the Grab app. In fact, pizza was searched 6 million times on GrabFood in 2020. 

Grab Philippines_Filipinos
Infographic from Grab Philippines

What’s more, despite it being a staple only for celebrations, Filipinos’ orders for cake also grew by 2.6 times in the year 2020 compared to the previous year. 

In terms of the time of the day, it seems that it is immaterial for Filipino foodies on what time they’d prefer to put in their orders, where most orders were made for dinner, lunch, and ‘merienda’ or afternoon time. However, in 2020, Filipinos were shown to spend more on breakfast with a 35% increase in basket size for the said part of the day. 

On top of Filipinos’ delivery behavior, the average Filipino consumer is trying approximately 2-3 different restaurants in a month in 2020, with ‘variety of food’ and ‘value for money’ as their main considerations. 

Grab Philippines_Filipinos
Infographic from Grab Philippines

With Grab’s report originally dedicated to bring commercial awareness to F&B merchants, the report reveals that most of all, more F&B brands are giving food delivery a shot, with the number of monthly active merchants in GrabFood increasing by 60% in 2020. 

Aside from research insights, the report by Grab also includes content on the state of the food delivery business as a whole in the country as well as tips on digital marketing for F&B businesses. 

Statistics were derived from Grab’s internal database between 2019–2020. The research conducted also includes interviews with food industry professionals, restaurateurs, consumer surveys, and focus groups.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Uber Eats’ ‘Tonight, I’ll Be Eating’ campaign lands in Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Uber Eats’ famous campaign, ‘Tonight, I’ll Be Eating’, has just been debuted to the Hong Kong audience. This follows the latest installment that was recently released in Australia by Special Group, the brains behind the campaign, which features famous talent judge and critic Simon Cowell and Australia’s iconic household entertainment group, The Wiggles. 

The highly-awarded TIBE campaign first graced TV screens and social media platforms in 2017, which then was highly focused on the Australian audience featuring stars hailing from Australia. A big part of the campaign’s traction among viewers is its use of sarcasm and humor, basing the narrative on the featured famous star’s well-known quirk and characteristic. Some of the widely-known personalities that have already appeared on the campaign were British singer Boy George, actress Naomi Watts, and professional rugby league footballer Beau Ryan. Some of the most recent are comedian Leslie Jones and hockey legends Patrick Roy and Mario Tremblay. 

Still showcasing that trademark charm and humor, the debut in Hong Kong will be taking a different turn, where the campaign has been developed to spread the advocacy of loving and supporting local businesses. It has been named ‘Make Local Famous’ and was developed by Special Group Australia in partnership with creative group Uth Hong Kong. 

The ad features the country’s most loveable and dynamic duo, singers Joyce Cheng and Alfred Hui. Set in a lavish and stylish home, Joyce and Alfred are donning denim jackets covered in the logos of many local favorites. In the commercial, Joyce playfully irons patches of logos from some of their favorite local shops they will be ordering from. Towards the end of the scene, the duo is seen promoting many local restaurants and their food with an entire wall of televisions sitting behind them, while Alfred is seen in a classic Mary Poppins moment pulling out dishes after dishes of food out of an Uber Eats paper bag. 

Aside from the focus on local businesses, the Hong Kong installment is also flipping the traditional celebrity endorsement model on its head by picking the said duo. The ‘Make Local Famous’ campaign will see Joyce and Alfred advocate for the thousands of small and medium restaurants on Uber Eats. The campaign will also be providing a wide number of restaurant partners with ready-to-use content for them to repurpose on their owned channels.

Elisa Janiec, general manager of Uber Eats Hong Kong, said that the campaign genuinely speaks to their culture where food is a huge part of their cultural distinctiveness, with the “collision of West and East, old and new, hawker street stalls and Michelin-starred restaurants.” 

“It’s lively, creative, social, and deeply ingrained into the fabric of the city. There’s no better way to pay homage to this than to hero local restaurants and their food. Hong Kong is built around great food, and this campaign is all about celebrating that,” said Janiec. 

Ally Doube, APAC head of brand strategy & social at Uber Eats, commented, “Across APAC, we are passionate about unlocking local consumer insights to bring to life in all of our marketing, whether through brand campaigns or social ads. We are blessed with having the ‘Tonight, I’ll Be Eating’ platform at our hands, one of the most award-winning campaigns, as our creative hook. The team in Hong Kong has done an amazing job pairing it with the strongest local insight to bring to life a magical and compelling campaign.”

A mock-up of the campaign’s marketing asset on an HK tram shared by the agencies

Meanwhile, Max McKeon, Special Group Australia’s creative director, added, “Introducing the ‘Tonight, I’ll Be Eating’ brand platform in Hong Kong is in itself incredibly exciting, but to do so with Uber Eats offering up one of their biggest brand assets – celebrity – to all the local restaurants in the region makes this an especially unique way to celebrate Hong Kong culture.”

Aside from Hong Kong, the TIBE campaign has also been launched in Asian markets Japan and Taiwan. In September last year, Uber Eats and Special Group saw one of its biggest celebrity partnerships when it featured Sci-Fi icons, Star Wars’ Mark Hamill, and Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart for the campaign’s debut in the US and Canada. The ad took audiences by storm due to the spot igniting each of the franchises’ fans’ cultural debate of which is the better franchise. 

The integrated campaign in Hong Kong will air across TV, social, OOH, digital, and through restaurant partners. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Latest research takes dive on the ‘good and bad’ in PH status quo of delivery couriers

Manila, Philippines – Courier services in the Philippines, whether for food deliveries or for package logistics, have been an integral part of the Filipino e-commerce shopping. With the heightened usage locally, media intelligence and insights company Isentia has recently published a study noting the local status of courier players, and how their ups and downs can help them strive for local competition.

The Philippine arm of Grab has seen its fair share of the positive limelight after it capitalized on the infamous ‘lugaw incident’, which other brands have also banked into. For context, last 31 March, a law enforcer confronted a GrabFood driver for delivering lugaw, a local rice porridge meal that the latter deemed non-essential, which has earned flak from netizens. 

Grab banked on this trend by releasing a promo that uses the code “LUGAWISESSENTIAL”, generously applying no delivery charges off their GrabFood orders.

On the other hand, food delivery courier foodpanda in the Philippines had a minor backlash from the Filipino netizens following its partnership with fast-food chain McDonalds last 20 March for a ‘50% discount for food purchases’. Netizens were quick to point to the misleading promo campaign, as the fine print of the campaign said that the maximum discount for the purchase is capped at PHP75. 

According to Isentia, compared to just headlining ‘max PHP75 off of your food purchase’, consumers will still see this as a win and will prompt more positive feedback than complaints from being misled to getting a smaller discount. Said promo debacle garnered 5,176 buzz during the day it was announced.

“Delivery services are now needed more than ever. But what delivery service should you avail? This trendspotting report incorporates the inputs of all consumers and translating them not just into actionable insights that brands can use, but also into informed decisions consumers can make when choosing which delivery courier is best for them,” Francis Angelo Calucin, insights analyst at Isentia Philippines said.

On a different spectrum, local courier Lalamove has prevailed in the local market due to its recognition of its employees who strive in their work even during the pandemic. However, many netizens are disappointed with the company’s culture of employees only receiving low standard rates and insufficient incentives.

Just recently, a Facebook group called “Lalamove Riders Group” has been flooded by mixed sentiments with engaged netizens commenting and contributing to discussions. With over 18,000 members, it serves as space for Lalamove riders to share and exchange information regarding company updates and their own experiences as drivers for Lalamove.

Meanwhile, a new local courier player has been noted to stand out from its competitors due to its unique offering of online franchising. With ads suggesting that one can earn up to PHP60k a month, it is not a wonder why app downloads reached 153,644 within just four months from its launch. According to Isentia data, there was a total of 1,898 buzz and Toktok-associated mentions in March 2021.

According to Victoria Bernadette Lazo, insights analyst at Isentia Philippines, the e-commerce and logistics industries have boomed and continued to thrive, and with tighter community quarantine guidelines in the country, more people realize the convenience of having things delivered to their doorstep.

“Now, more than ever, is the right time for e-commerce companies to listen in on the buzz surrounding their industry. On top of listening, these companies need to look for ways to make the conversations work in their favor,” Lazo stated.

Rowelyn Bigaya, insights analyst at Isentia Philippines, added that brands have shifted towards a more digital aspect so customers can buy their products from the convenience and safety of their homes amidst the pandemic. 

“Despite contact restrictions and lockdown regulations, companies could continue operation and provide jobs while adapting to the new normal. The use of trendspotting studies will highlight how brands can leverage the potential of digital transformation and optimize conversations to understand and cater to the needs of the public,” Bigaya stated.

Platforms Featured East Asia

foodpanda opens new tech hub in Taiwan to boost tech talent pool

Taiwan – Top food and grocery delivery platform foodpanda has announced the opening of its new tech hub in Taiwan to scale up product innovation and platform optimization, as it continues to expand and grow across Asia.

According to data from INS Consulting, Taiwan sees more than 10,000 computer science graduates join the workforce each year making it an ideal center for the launch of a new tech hub. With this, foodpanda has decided to house new Taiwan-based engineering and product teams, and recruitment has already begun for key department roles, including digital innovation supervisors and front and back-end engineers. 

The new tech hub is part of the platform’s NT$610M investment plans for its food delivery business in the market, which was first announced earlier this year. It is slated to begin operations in the second half of 2021, with a focus on R&D in new technologies and enhancements to build a seamless user experience across its mobile and web applications.

Benjamin Mann, the chief technology officer of foodpanda, said that they are excited to launch the new tech hub in Taiwan, as an important base for data analysis and technology development in the food and grocery delivery space. 

“The Taiwan tech hub will offer an exciting opportunity for Taiwan-based tech and engineering talents to be a part of a leading, high-growth digital platform in Asia. We want to not only invest in the growing tech talent pool in Taiwan but also invest in the tech capabilities to support foodpanda’s growth across the region,” said Mann.

The launch of foodpanda’s new tech hub in the country comes after an exponential 2020 growth, as more riders, merchant-partners, and customers turn to online for food and daily essentials. Currently, foodpanda is operating in over 400 cities across 12 markets in Asia.