How billion dollar startup foodpanda failed due to technology?

Insight into Foodpanda

Foodpanda is Germany-based on-demand food delivery app. In 2012, it was founded by Ralf Wenzel with his three business partners. After two years of its initial launch, Foodpanda started dominating the markets of other countries. In February 2014, Foodpanda has acquired a Pakistan-based on-demand food delivery service provider company named Eat Oye, which was a major rival of Foodpanda.

Till 2016, Foodpanda made its services accessible in all major countries of the Asia and middle east. But with the advent of other on-demand food delivery apps which had a more profitable business model and industry-defined business strategies, Foodpanda couldn’t sustain its growth. In December 2016, Foodpanda was acquired by a German competitor Delivery Hero. After one year, Foodpanda’s business of India was acquired by Ola which is India-based ride-hailing giant.

When OLA Acquired Foodpanda!

When Ola acquired Foodpanda, they decided to run the business of Foodpanda with their own chain of restaurants. Currently, Ola has 50 restaurants and four private labels. These are Flrt, The Khichdi Experiment, Lovemade, and Grandma’s kitchen. During the initial days, Foodpanda was aggressively giving a heavy discount to the users and processing 3 million orders in a month. But later in 2018, they revised its strategy as other on-demand food delivery service provider companies like Zomato and Swiggy took the Indian market by storm. Against the services and business model of Zomato and Swiggy, Foodpanda became clumsy. At last, on the morning of the 22nd May 2019, they dropped their delivery services and laid off several employees.

Why Foodpanda Failed?

There was a time when Foodpanda was doing delivery of 2 Lakh Order A Day! And Above 3 Million Orders A Month! But did you ever wondered how they failed? Why i mentioned failed due to technology? Let's figure it out!

1 - Poor Business Model

Unlike crowd-puller food delivery service provider companies Zomato and Swiggy which are working with thousands of restaurants to offer the food of all cuisines, Foodpanda decided to create their own network of the restaurants. With this decision, they remained limited to only 50 restaurants. They failed to provide diverse food experience to the users and so, users dodged Foodpanda as soon as they get other food delivery services which are allowing them to try different cuisines.

2 - Technical Issue

An order placed on Foodpanda which had gone through the transaction process not being aware that the restaurant has shut its operations. To retain and please its customer it offered a free voucher of the same amount to order from any other restaurant. The customer was happy, everyone were happy. But this operation ordering from closed restaurant went for a few months until Foodpanda got suspicious, but it was too late for them.

3 - Miscommunication

Foodpanda would take orders from the customers but fail to share it with the restaurant resulting in customer calling directly to the restaurant, delaying in delivery. Clearly a miscommunication.

4 - Poor Technology In Tracking System

A large amount of order delivered, Foodpanda not into tracking the delivery of orders, resulting in paying huge amount to the restaurant, Foodpanda being not able to prove it was not a genuine order. It was not the only case, some new fraud would come to light daily.

5 - Tablet Episode

Zomato entered the food ordering space. As part of the initiative it decided that all its restaurants would be connected with an Apple iPad. That way, the moment an order is placed on Zomato, it will reflect on the iPad with the restaurant. Foodpanda decided to follow on the footsteps of Zomato.

iPad being expensive it decided to settle on Samsung tablets. But the actual restaurants Foodpanda claims it has were no where near to the said number. Tablets ordered and when it arrived, they were neither of the ordered specification, nor in the ordered quantity. Also they had been bought at a huge mark-up.

Conclusion -

If you have a poor technology in today's startup race, my friend you are a loser! Foodpanda failed due to the big loophole in technology. There are many other reasons like founders also exited their place from the company due to which the Foodpanda vision breakdown. But the conclusion of this article is that technology is the most important key factor in your business in today's world.


I share my knowledge which I gained by doing researches. I write short and sweet blogs.

Recommended from Medium

What Makes for Great Board Materials: Podcast

Sunday Essentials — UC News Roundup 28th July 2019

Google And Facebook To The Moon… Or Peak Advertising?

Sebi rejigs advisory panel on leveraging regulatory, technology solutions

OOH is the new black

Vanguard group dislodges Elon Musk as Twitter’s largest shareholder

Driving Digital Revolution In FinTech: PayPal’s Innovation Lab On Startups, Outreach And Deep Tech


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vraj Patel

Vraj Patel

I share my knowledge which I gained by doing researches. I write short and sweet blogs.

More from Medium

Financial Technology (Fintech) : A Practical Introduction

OpenSea Employee Admits Insider Trading of NFTs

OpenSea Insider Trading

Alternatives to Turing: Engineer Platforms in 2022

Auto1 IPO soars 45% and generates Germany’s newest Tech Billionaires