By Mauro Orru
DoorDash Inc. is launching in Germany, marking its first foray into Europe and confirming expansion plans after job ads it had posted for the country raised eyebrows earlier this year.
The launch paves the way for DoorDash, the biggest food-delivery app in the U.S., to compete with Uber Technologies Inc.'s Uber Eats, Amsterdam-based Just Eat Takeaway.com NV and Berlin-based Delivery Hero SE.
DoorDash said it is launching in Stuttgart, with co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Andy Fang citing the city's "extremely diverse gastronomic scene, which we want to strengthen even further with DoorDash."
Consumers in Stuttgart can order from local restaurants as well as international brands such as KFC and Burger King through the DoorDash app.
DoorDash will give Stuttgart merchants access to its Storefront service, an online system that allows restaurant customers to place takeout and delivery orders directly with the business.
Storefront will be commission-free for businesses through the end of the year, with the only cost to merchants being payment-processing fees.
"The cornerstones of our platform are the merchants, the couriers, as well as the customers. We want to connect and support all three in the best possible way," Mr. Fang said.
The entry to Germany builds on DoorDash's growing list of markets, which also include the U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan.
DoorDash recently agreed to acquire European food-delivery company Wolt Enterprises Oy in an all-stock deal valued at over $8 billion that is set to further consolidate its European settlement.
Wolt's co-founder and chief executive, Miki Kuusi, will lead DoorDash's overseas presence once the deal closes, which the companies expect in the first half of next year.
The choice of Germany underscores the extent to which U.S. technology companies view the market as an opportunity to grow and build market share in Europe.
Just Eat commanded an estimated 99% market share in Germany as of June, according to YipitData.
The food-delivery space is becoming more competitive since revenue has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, as homebound consumers resorted to apps for their meal deliveries.
In 2018, Delivery Hero agreed to sell its German operations to Takeaway.com which later merged with Just Eat, but in May this year it announced an official relaunch in Germany under the company's foodpanda brand.
Uber Eats confirmed its German entry in April.
Write to Mauro Orru at firstname.lastname@example.org; @MauroOrru94
(END) Dow Jones Newswires