Online delivery platforms have been popping up left and right as of late, competing among one another to win over hungry consumers. In Brazil, Foome is one of the latest players to get in the game.
Foome is an online delivery portal that allows users to order what they want, went they want, where they want. It is currently available as a web platform, and apps for Android and iOS are in development. Roll out into various Brazilian cities is under way.
Founded by Daniel Driessen Jr., André Krüger and Fellipe Brito, the idea behind Foome was sparked by Krüger, who struggled to find a solution for ordering food delivery online. Driessen joined the project shortly after. Together, the two sought out partners to develop the system, and after a few failed attempts came to Brito, an expert developer, to help build their product.
The Foome team has chosen to attack a promising market. Over two-thirds of food orders place in Brazil are for delivery, and more than half of Brazilians order in at least once a week. The sector reported over US$40 billion in revenues in 2011 and is expected to grow by 14.5% this year. Given such statistics, it’s no wonder that HFPX Participações has made the decision to add Foome to its portfolio of companies for strategic investment.
Beyond aiding users to order food for delivery, the platform also helps consumers to compare and analyze options by price and location. Moreover, it provides a space for comments as well. Notably, Foome has managed to overcome one of the biggest obstacles for most delivery platforms in Latin America: online payment. Having been up and running for just four months, the platform has already received thousands of visitors and added various restaurants to its offering.
Foome Co-Founder Fellipe Brito took some time to tell us about the platform.
Emily Stewart: A lot of players are looking to get into the online delivery game. What makes Foome stand out?
Fellipe Brito: Our main competitor is Restaurante WEB. The way we stand out is by continuing to invest in technology and produce innovations that are way ahead of the curve. Next month, we plan to deliver an entirely new iPhone app. It’s been in the works for several months and is a smart app that provides suggestions for users as to what they might want based on previous orders, weather, holidays, etc.
ES: Foome has an online payment system included – not an easy feat in Latin America. What has your experience been there? How has it been received?
FB: It has not been a huge challenge since our tech team has experience with payment systems, and our security is strong. Of course, there are bad people who try to harm the matrix or buy with stolen credit cards, but we are developing tools directly with Visa and MasterCard to make our system safer and safer.
Brazil is the top growing market in terms of internet purchases, but even with that, only 25% of the population or less buys frequently online. This means that we have a huge market to attack in the coming years. Also, our number one target demographic is teenagers, young people and universities students. They buy online every week.
ES: What has the HFPX investment meant for you?
FB: This investment gave us the ability to hire more important professionals and develop our project at the speed it needs. Some businesses need the perfect timing to work, and we could not have achieved our targets without this important investment.
We are currently working hard in Curitiba and Joinville, and thanks to this investment from HFPX, we plan for Foome to be present in five Brazilian cities by the end of the year. We hope this number will reach 20 in the first quarter of 2013.
ES: What’s next?
FB: The internet is a dynamic business, and what is new today is an old habit tomorrow. Today, online food delivery has great potential, and it will grow a lot in the next five years. At Foome, we really want to make customers’ lives easier. That’s why we created Foome: to help people save time, avoid stress, and have more pleasure ordering food. With this as our main goal, we’re continuing to plan new great features that help our customers and increase our user numbers.
For example, we are delivering something new next month, an option to schedule your order. Let’s say you want to have a party on Friday to watch a soccer game (yes, in Brazil we have soccer games every day). You have a lot to do, but you don’t want to forget food, so you schedule a delivery of three huge pizzas for Friday at 8:00 in the evening. The order will be set, and you’ll have the pizza right on time.
Moving forward, the Foome team will continue to innovate and roll out its product across Brazil. It will attack the market city-by-city, and next year, the Foome team will test their luck in other Latin American locales.