Just-Eat in new funding round

Just-Eat, which provides a one-stop website for ordering local takeaway meals, has raised $48m (£30m) through a new funding round, in the latest sign of investors’ appetite for local internet services.

Just-Eat claims to be the leading company in its market in the UK, India and Canada. It plans to use its new capital to expand through Europe and into regions such as Latin America, largely through acquisitions in the next six to nine months.

Just-Eat provides 15,000 local restaurants in 10 countries with its own terminals, which process more than 100,000 orders every day. It takes about 10 per cent commission from each order, generating expected revenues of some $50m this year, after doubling sales in 2010 and becoming profitable.

Founded in Denmark in 2000, Just-Eat moved its headquarters to London in 2008, shortly after Klaus Nyengaard became chief executive.

“What we would like to do is to build a truly global success that is at the top of the food chain, not a company that is being gobbled up by a big American corporation. We are the consolidators in this space,” said Mr Nyengaard, contrasting Just-Eat’s ambitions with the tendency for successful European tech companies to be acquired by US internet groups such as Google, Microsoft or AOL.

After raising about £10m from Index Ventures in 2009, when several of the company’s co-founders cashed out, Just-Eat’s new round adds Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures, both with headquarters in Silicon Valley, as investors.

The funding round is expected to be one of the largest for a UK-based internet company this year, after Wonga, the online loans group, raised £73m last month.

Spotify, the London-based digital music service, is also negotiating a $100m funding round, providing further evidence that European tech companies are able to take on US rivals.

Many internet companies, from start-ups such as Yelp and Qype to larger groups such as Google, Groupon and Facebook, are increasingly offering services to help local businesses promote themselves online, as part of continuing growth in e-commerce.

Torch Partners advised Just-Eat on the fund-raising.

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