Food delivery apps take over Helsinki
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Photo Credit: Wolt

Wolt and Foodora, among others, are shaking up the food delivery space in Finland

Food delivery apps are becoming commonplace in Helsinki, where weather conditions often hinder enthusiasm for dining outside. Now, pizza-crazed Finns are in for a treat.

Food delivery service Wolt lets Helsinkians order food from restaurants that, until now, did not have a delivery service. Wolt even attracted an investment from one of the richest men in Finland, Chaim “Poju” Zabludowicz.

Wolt, which started its operations in mid July and is available on iOS and Android, has a commonsense approach in its plans to become the go-to app for food deliveries.

“We all need to eat 3–5 times per day. Just in the U.S. alone, there is a $70 billion market in the takeaway and delivery food industry. Out of that, only $9 billion is online. We decided we can make people’s lives better by enabling them to get food every single day with less hassle and waiting,” Juhani Mykkänen, the co-founder of Wolt, told Geektime.

Wolt, which Miki Kuusi, Mika Matikainen, Oskari Petas, Elias Pietilä, Lauri Andler, and Juhani Mykkänen co-founded in October, currently employs 11 people with a 5-digit customer base and the app boasts over 200 restaurants on its platform.

The food space is saturated

The international and local food delivery space is saturated with competition, but Mykkänen believes that Wolt’s strength lies in mobile.

“There are companies doing food delivery and takeaway orders such as Delivery Hero, Just Eat, Take Eat Easy, Deliveroo, Grubhub SeamlessFoodora, etc., but each one has a different approach. Some are more browser based and do mostly pizza, kebab, and some do bike deliveries only. Our main differentiators are that we are born mobile and it shows from the experience. You can use us any time of the day from your pocket and the food is great quality from various kinds of merchants. We also allow for three-way communication between the merchant, the customer and the delivery courier,” Mykkänen said.

As for funding, Wolt raised 400,000 euros in November from Lifeline Ventures, Nokia’s chairman of the board Risto Siilasmaa, Pii Ketvel, and Supercell co-founder Visa Forsten.

To complement the impressive list, Chaim “Poju” Zabludowicz, Finland’s second richest man, invested an undisclosed amount. Among a multitude of investments and interests, Zabludowicz, who resides in London, is also known for his close connections to Israel.

Foodora comes to town

Despite Wolt’s powerful lineup of backers, another food app has already started courting hungry Finns. Foodora, a Berlin-based delivery app, has expanded its operations to 15 cities, including Helsinki. Foodora handles its deliveries with couriers on pink bicycles.

As the cold winter approaches, the people of Helsinki can rest assured that the flow of pizza and gourmet meals will continue uninterrupted.

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