“I was actually the first delivery driver, I still do deliveries for 4 hours a week,” Deliveroo CEO and co-founder William Shu tells me during a call. “I don’t do it on the scooter anymore, I do it on the bicycle. It’s actually really good exercise so I don’t mind.”
I can’t help wondering if this will soon change. His London-based startup, which offers food delivery from premium restaurants that don’t traditionally offer a take-out service, has just closed a $25 million Series B round led by Accel Partners. However, despite my suggesting otherwise, Shu insists that remaining so hands-on isn’t a PR gimmick, but enables him to gain a much better understanding of Deliveroo’s business.
Specifically, the problem that Shu and his co-founder and childhood friend Greg Orlowski have set out to solve is that a lot of take-out food, not least in the UK, is of poor quality, and yet most premium or higher-end restaurants don’t deliver.
To tackle the latter, Deliveroo has built its own online ordering and logistics platform, including recruiting a fleet of drivers and cyclists who, along with London, now service restaurants and customers in the UK cities of Brighton, and Manchester, with Oxford launching next week.