Wolt Gets $530 Million to Keep Pace With Food Delivery Boom

Finnish startup Wolt has raised $530 million and is preparing for a potential 2022 stock market listing in its effort to rival the big players in a surging food delivery industry.

The Series E round led by Iconiq Growth brings the total raised by Wolt to $856 million, the company said in a statement Monday. New backers joining the round included KKR & Co., Tiger Global Management, DST Global, Prosus NV and Coatue Management.

Food delivery companies have been flooded with cash from investors betting the pandemic brought a permanent shift in consumer habits. U.K. startup Deliveroo raised $180 million this month, while in the U.S. DoorDash Inc. is valued at $61 billion after its public trading debut in December.

Last year Wolt’s revenue tripled to a preliminary $345 million with a net loss of $45 million. It wants to complete preparations for an initial public offering this year so its shares can begin trading as early as the end of the first half of next year, said Miki Kuusi, Wolt’s chief executive and co-founder.

“With this round, we’re able to take a much more long-term approach when it comes to thinking about investments and thinking about opportunities,” said Kuusi. “We’re going to continue to expand to new countries and new cities. We’re going to continue to expand in retail.”

Wolt, which launched in 2015, is available in 23 countries and more than 120 cities. In the past year, it’s expanded services beyond restaurant takeaway to delivering groceries and retail goods like pharmaceuticals.

Last May, as the pandemic battered economies across the world, the company raised 100 million euros ($122 million) in a round led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity to prepare for an economic downturn.

Expansion Plans

Kuusi said Wolt hasn’t even spent any of those funds, but is now building up a war chest and focusing on growth over profitability. He said the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward food delivery by six to eight months.

The sector has been consolidating as players fight for market share. Last year, Just Eat Takeaway.com NV bought U.S.-based Grubhub Inc., while Uber Technologies Inc. bought Postmates Inc.

“We definitely want to build this as a stand-alone company, that’s also one of the reasons why we raised this round,” Kuusi said.

Wolt has focused on mid-tier markets, branching out from Helsinki to places like Stockholm and Tel Aviv. In 2020, the company entered Berlin and Tokyo.

Returning investors in the latest funding round included 83North, Highland Europe, Goldman Sachs, EQT Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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