Traveloka ramps up food delivery business as it prepares for its IPO

The travel unicorn appears to be hiring in-house couriers as it joins an increasingly crowded space.

Traveloka, the Indonesian travel unicorn, is ramping up its food delivery business as it prepares for an initial public offering. The company appears to be onboarding new restaurants onto its Traveloka Eats platform, while also hiring in-house delivery couriers.

Tech in Asia has reached out to Traveloka for comments.

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Photo credit: Traveloka

Traveloka Eats initially started out as a restaurant directory and review platform. It started to quietly offer deliveries late last year through a partnership with logistics company Lalamove – both companies share an investor in Hillhouse Capital.

It would also provide the company, which has been hit severely by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new revenue stream as it awaits the travel industry’s recovery. Food delivery has been a key revenue driver for Gojek and Grab when their ride-hailing businesses were impacted by the pandemic.

Still, the space Traveloka is joining is an increasingly crowded one. Aside from incumbents GoFood and GrabFood, ShopeeFood recently entered the fray as it aims to replicate its success in the e-wallet space.

According to a terms and conditions document reviewed by Tech in Asia, the travel unicorn is charging merchants 15% per order. This is lower than GoFood and GrabFood, both of which charge 20%.

For Traveloka, food deliveries could be a way to boost user numbers and valuation multiple as the company prepares for a listing in the US. Compared to flights or hotel bookings, food delivery has a relatively higher order frequency (albeit with thinner margins).

Most recently, the company is said to be in advanced talks to go public by merging with Bridgetown Holdings, a SPAC backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel. The deal could bring Traveloka’s valuation to US$5 billion.

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