- Will Shu is the cofounder and CEO of Deliveroo, a British food delivery startup that raised $575 million last month in a funding round led by Amazon.
- With a market value of at least $2 billion, Deliveroo – which operates in more than 200 cities across 12 countries – provides a similar service to Uber Eats.
- Speaking at a technology conference on Tuesday, Shu said companies like his will one day reduce cooking to "purely a hobby."
- He also spoke about how Deliveroo’s plans to use the $575 million fundraise to develop its business.
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Deliveroo cofounder Will Shu has said cooking could be done solely for enjoyment within the next decade.
The 39-year-old, who serves as CEO of the buzzy British startup which secured backing from Amazon this year, was speaking at a Bloomberg conference on this week on the future of technology.
He said: "If I think about what the barriers to people using food delivery apps are, one of them is cooking. 100 years ago, cooking was 100% a necessity. 50 years ago, less [of a necessity]. Now, the average person goes out to restaurants a lot. I do see a world where, in maybe five or 10 years, cooking is purely a hobby.
"Of course, we [Deliveroo] want to promote that, and that’s great. With the rise of things like Editions and with the rise of things like robotics over time, I do see, in the very long run – it’s not going to happen soon – a scenario where getting a meal cooked and delivered may be the same price as going to the supermarket and buying it."
Shu also discussed the company’s burgeoning relationship with Amazon at the conference. In May, Deliveroo raised $575 million in a funding round led by the tech giant.
He said Deliveroo plans use the capital to expand its ‘Editions’ initiative, under which pop-up kitchens are built by the firm to cater for people who don’t live near their favourite restaurants. The kitchens allow restaurants’ chefs to cook remotely, which in turn enables them to serve more customers.
Furthermore, the company wants to use the money to continue its expansion into less densely-populated areas – both in the UK and overseas.
"We’ve been pretty efficient and thoughtful about how we’ve grown across different countries," he said. "We’ve been in the UK for six years, and we’re currently reaching about 33%, maybe 35% of the UK population. We plan to take that to 50% by the end of the year.
"We’re not just going to go out into city centres, but into suburbs but into some smaller towns. We’re going to do [the same] in other European countries, too."
Reuters / Drew Angerer of Getty Images
Amazon’s development of drone delivery technology could eventually let Deliveroo reach truly rural areas, in Shu’s view.
"If you look at the UK and France, where you definitely have people living in rural areas – and where population density is less than 500 people per square kilometre – I think unmanned aerial drones could actually make a really big difference. Amazon’s certainly doing that. Thinking about how we reach those customers, where a bicycle or car doesn’t always work, is pretty interesting.
"Amazon are really keen to help us build our business; to build our processes and systems," he continued. "In my view, Amazon are the best operators in the world. To the extent that we have access to senior people there, we can learn from them what they’ve managed to build over the last 25 years.
"Any time you make people’s lives easier, and show them that they can get something they couldn’t get before, adoption happens. I think you’ll have different degrees of adoption [across] different generations, but overall, I think [Deliveroo] makes sense for all types of different people."
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