Doordash was founded in 2013 in San Francisco, CA. Nine years later, the company is active in over 7,000 cities across the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, with millions of users relying on their on-demand food delivery services every day.
But, how did it get so big? What was the Doordash’s international expansion process like? We chose to write this article because we believe that entrepreneurs can learn a lot from the art of expansion of Doordash.
The covid pandemic increased the growth of food delivery apps. However, even without lockdowns and restrictions, food delivery app growth is not slowing down.
Following the continued growth in the U.S. restaurant marketplace as well as investment in new categories and international markets, the San Francisco headquartered company projected gross order value of $11.4 billion to $11.8 billion in the current quarter.
It is clear that DoorDash’s success will only continue.
Doordash’s global expansion strategy would eventually become smooth, fast-paced, and unstoppable.
The Doordash mission statement is to grow and empower local economies. In order to do so, it wishes to grow and operate in multiple economies.
More precisely, the Doordash business is a three-sided business.
The first of three sides is the customer's side. Customers are a beneficial factor for Doordash’s growth and expansion. Doordash focuses on fast deliveries to customers that are willing to pay for getting their favorite food delivered wherever they are located, even in a hotel.
Recently, Doordash launched convenience stores across the US. Customers can get groceries and household items delivered to them in less than 30 minutes.
Doordash makes money with fees on eligible orders.
On the other side, Doordash is focused on businesses venturing into e-commerce. Doordash is one of the best third party delivery services for merchants. Expanding its business features and programs is important for the company to keep growing and providing to its customers.
DoorDash provides additional value to its partners. Merchants using the Doordash platform can boost their sales by offering pickup services and delivery services to their customers.
The company generates revenues with business commissions and sponsored listings. Every time a transaction is complete on their marketplace, Doordash gets a percentage of the order subtotal, called a commission.
DoorDash's efforts are focused on ways to better serve restaurants and merchants which became priority No. 1.
Recently, Tom Pickett joined Doordash as a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to continue to advance DoorDash’s mission of empowering local communities by driving programs that support the growth of restaurants big and small.
All deliveries on the platform are made by contractor workers called Dashers. They are the ones who pick up the food or groceries and deliver them to the customers. It is in part thanks to them that people are able to get their food fast enough and to their location. They are an important part of Doordash's business.
Now that you know how Doordash works, let’s take a look at Doordash worldwide.
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The first country outside the US that Doordash expanded to was Canada. The online food delivery app started working in Canada in 2015.
Ryan Broderick, Head of Launch said:
“When DoorDash was launched just two years ago, we always knew we wanted to create a delivery network that expanded worldwide. Canada is vital to our long-term company strategy not only because it is a significant growth opportunity, but also because it represents our first international market”.
The company has since grown to serve more than 80 communities and covers 60% of the population. Over 30,000 merchants partner with Doordash across the country.
Doordash holds offices in four of Canada’s main cities including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
To increase its expansion in Canada, Doordash launched a new engineering site located in Toronto, which opened in May 2021.
Doordash is not only a food delivery service anymore. The Doordash app facilitates any kinds of deliveries including alcohol delivery, flowers delivery and even cigarette delivery.
One of the engineering team’s main goals in Canada is to work on business projects that will help Doordash expand its reach and services.
The core areas of focus include the following:
The engineering team will continue to build and scale features within the DoorDash consumer app. This includes building better language functionality and helping to launch in new markets.
This team will help create new retail channels for merchant partners to expand their sales, scale DoorDash's logistics platform, Drive, and build products that help merchants to expand into new geographies with new delivery-only kitchen concepts.
Doordash expanded its options by the launch of its new Doordash Storefront feature, which allows merchants to turn their website into e-commerce stores.
The Storefront has many positive attributes. The first one being that it is free, and the second one being that Doordash customers can choose between in-store picking and delivery, which in both cases the merchant will be in charge of any service to the customer.
One of the main responsibilities the engineering team has is to empower smaller businesses and encourage them to create their own online delivery channel, which they can use to operate and expand their services.
As a leader, it is important that Doordash encourages and shows good manners to other businesses.
Customer loyalty matters to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of existing customers, all delivery services have developed a system of membership.
Five million Americans have already signed up for DashPass, a subscription service that offers unlimited deliveries from thousands of eligible restaurants with $0 delivery fee on orders over $12. This shows the growth, reliability and quality of Doordash.
One of its main tasks is to expand the product’s offerings by creating new strategic partnerships and integration programs, as well as adding new features for restaurants and customers who are subscribed to the membership.
In Australia, Doordash is currently available in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, with more Australian cities coming soon!
DoorDash reaches 40% of Australians nationwide.
The on-demand delivery industry is one of the most competitive industries all over the world including the Australian market.
Using the Doordash app, customers can order food, groceries, coffee, pharmaceuticals, pet products and more.
However, the battle with other on-demand delivery services is ruthless.
In Australia, Deliveroo and Uber Eatrs are pushing harder and putting more effort into grocery delivery.
According to a CBRE report on the Australia food delivery market share, in 2020 UberEATS controlled the highest majority of market share (59.7%), with Deliveroo (17.5%) and Menulog (12.1%) following in second and third place.
Rebecca Burrows, GM of DoorDash said: “We didn’t come here just to be competitive with people who’ve been here a long time in one area. That part of the business is ripe for disruption.”
Doordash, which currently has almost 60% of market share in the United States, is making new plans to eat rivals' share and get big, fast in Australia.
In 2021, the company made a new partnership with the NBL, Australia’s top basketball league.
Doordash also launched an advertising campaign introducing the slogan “We DoorDash” and aims to turn “DoorDash” into a verb. Advertising is a great way to gain more recognition and support.
Nowadays it is common to use the word “Google” as a synonym for searching for something on the internet.
In the same way “Doordash” can be used to describe ordering something and getting it delivered.
With a press release, Doordash announced its official launch in Japan.
Doordash technologies Japan avoided the intense competition in Tokyo by beginning with Sendai MIYAGI Prefecture.
Japanese food delivery services include apps such as Uber Eats, Wolt, Food Panda, and Food-E
Toni Xu, Doordash co-founder and CEO said:
"We are thrilled to bring DoorDash to Japan. Our strategy has always been to empower local economies, especially in the suburban markets that are historically underserved yet the appetite for connectivity between merchants and customers is high. We look forward to helping power the Sendai economy by helping merchants to grow, connecting consumers to those merchants, and creating jobs and flexible earnings opportunities for Dashers."
In Japan, merchants have access to DoorDash’s marketplace app, where users can order from an array of participating eateries, as well as the storefront.
The storefront is an online ordering product that helps restaurants create their own websites for pickup and delivery.
In November 2021, DoorDash announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire its European competitor, Wolt Enterprises Oy, based in Helsinki, Finland, for 8.1 billion dollars.
DoorDash will absorb Wolt, which has 4,000 employees and operates in 23 countries including Japan, Germany, Israel, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Serbia, Georgia, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstanand, and more.
“DoorDash and Wolt share a vision to create a global local commerce platform that strengthens the communities in which we operate,” said Tony Xu. “By joining forces, we will accelerate the development of our products, bring more attention to each of our markets and improve the value we provide to consumers, merchants, as well as Dashers and couriers around the world,” he added. Wolt founder and CEO Miki Kuusi will lead DoorDash International.
The Wolt acquisition allows Doordash to become a player on the European market that has been for a long time dominated by Deliveroo, Delivery Hero and Grubhub parent company Just Eat Takeaway.
Doordash serves all 50 states in the United States and Puerto Rico where they cover 75% of the population.
In the United States Doordash holds 57% of the market share of all top online food delivery services and is approximately valued at 20 billion USD.
Amazon doesn’t own Doordash, but it could be one of the main Doordash competitors.
Food delivery is not really the real endgame. Even if most of these deliveries are from restaurants, DoorDash’s goal is to build “the local, on-demand FedEx for small businesses.”
Today, we can Doordash everything!
DoorDash is allowing customers to get two-hour shipping. Using the Doordash platform, customers can even send gifts to people located on the other side of the country.
Amazon cannot compete with Doordash as local drivers are always available to deliver everything to customers.
There is no word on when or if DoorDash will be available in the United Kingdom, but the company is expanding rapidly, so it is likely only a matter of time.
Doordash has built its brand identity by offering more than just assistance with food deliveries. From their humble beginnings with the website PaloAltoDelivery.com, Doordash is now one of the biggest players in the delivery industry and it is currently available in the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia and Japan.
As of today, Wolt food delivery is the major Doordash acquisition that allowed the San Francisco headquartered company to start its journey in Europe.
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