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Deliveroo acquires Scottish software company Cultivate and plans to open new tech hub in Edinburgh

London-based food delivery giant Deliveroo has acquired Cultivate, an Edinburgh-based software design and development consultancy specializing in the development of custom software applications. The amount of the deal was not disclosed, and comes on the heals of Deliveroo’s €515 million mega-round led by Amazon in May.

With the acquisition, the foodtech unicorn plans to build a tech hub in Edinburgh, where it plans to hire 50 highly-skilled tech workers within three years – primarily engineers, product managers, user researchers, designers, and data scientists. This will help to nurture Edinburgh’s blossoming tech ecosystem.

“As a British company, Deliveroo is proud to be investing in Edinburgh and creating more high skilled jobs in the UK,” said Dan Winn, VP of Engineering at Deliveroo. “Edinburgh is one of the UK’s fastest growing tech hubs, with access to an excellent talent pool of highly skilled people and university graduates. Deliveroo is committed to offering riders flexible, well-paid work and helping restaurants to grow their businesses. Building on Cultivate’s expertise, we are excited to create new products and services that will help us achieve this.”

Deliveroo was formerly a client of Cultivate, as were other major companies including JP Morgan and GE. The Scottish software company built Deliveroo’s payments system, handling millions of transactions each day.

Deliveroo and Cultivate will continue their relationship by developing ways to improve payment processes for both riders and restaurants. The team will build on Deliveroo’s ‘Cash Out’ feature, which allows riders to access their earnings immediately; give riders and restaurants more information on how they are earning through the platform so they can better manage their finances; and develop ways to offer more financial support, for example to help riders save and help restaurants to manage their cash flow.

“We have a fantastic relationship with Deliveroo, supporting them through an amazing period of growth,” said Cultivate’s Chief Commercial Officer Andy Robinson, who will become Deliveroo’s site lead in Edinburgh. “We were attracted by the array of interesting problems being tackled by their team, and how they are addressing them using modern and emerging technology. We’re proud to have built such a great team here in Edinburgh, and today’s announcement is a testament to their hard work and expertise in building world-class software. We are excited to continue this work, create highly skilled jobs, and build a centre of tech excellence here in Edinburgh.”

Deliveroo will continue to back the community initiatives that Cultivate already supports, including Prewired, which helps young people learn to code, and codebar, who support underrepresented groups develop software engineering skills. The unicorn has also committed to being a main sponsor at this year’s Turing Fest, Scotland’s largest tech festival, taking place at the EICC in Edinburgh (August 27-29 2019).

“Cultivate has always been at the centre of the tech scene in Edinburgh and has supported events and initiatives across the board,” said Stephen Coleman OBE, CEO of CodeBase. “We are really pleased for the Cultivate team and Deliveroo’s plans to grow here in Scotland and are looking forward to having one of Europe’s top tech companies based here at CodeBase.”

Founded in 2013, Deliveroo now works with over 80,000 restaurants and takeaways, as well as 60,000 riders. The company operates in over 500 towns and cities across 14 markets, including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and the UK.

Mary Loritz
Mary Loritz
Mary served as Head of Content at EU-Startups.com from November 2018 until November 2019. She is an experienced journalist and researcher covering tech and business topics.

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