Five years ago, anybody acquiring an online food delivery web portal would have been considered crazy in Pakistan. That no longer seems to be the case as one of the country’s leading online food delivery giant Eatoye.pk was acquired by Food panda.
Food panda is a subsidiary of German owned company Rocket Internet and has managed to place itself in the market in recent years as a leading online food delivery giant second only to the local Eatoye.pk.
‘‘Now with the acquisition of Eatoye.pk, it will further enhance its customer base as Eat Oye appears to have a more diverse mix of restaurants that can aid any hyper local plays by the Rocket Internet company”, reported PakStarted, a website which reports on start-ups in Pakistan.
Nevertheless this acquisition has sparked off controversy as the acquisition of a local web giant by a foreign subsidiary is perceived to be the beginning of a foreign takeover of even this minor niche of the economy.
However the president of the Pakistan Software Houses Association Jehan Ara disagrees with this perception. “[Local companies] shouldn’t be scared of being acquired,” she said. “These guys don’t only have just one idea. In fact, Jamal Khan and Rai Umair (eatoye’s owners) already have several ideas.”
“They now have the money to invest in new ideas,” she added.
Jehan Ara said acquisitions should not be seen negatively, as they create a dynamic environment for the industry. Further, she said what matters is how the company being acquired is valued. She said she belives Eat Oye! was not undervalued, otherwise the duo would not have accepted the offer.
Eat Oye! was initially established as Food Connection Pakistan, by Rai Umair and Nauman Sikandar and even after the acquisition an IT industry journal is reported to have said, Food Panda would retain the founding duo and their team.
A company source speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that both portals would function under unified management. Let’s just hope that the interests of the real consumers are not compromised by this deal.