HungryPanda, a food delivery app for Chinese communities, raises $20 million

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HungryPanda, a food delivery service for Chinese communities in cities around the world, announced today it has raised $20 million in funding. The round was led by investors 83North and Felix Capital and will be used on hiring, product development and global expansion, particularly in the United States. The startup, which did not disclose its current valuation, said its goal is to reach an annual run rate of $200 million by May.

Founded in the United Kingdom, where its service first launched in Nottingham, HungryPanda is now available in 31 cities in the U.K., Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.

Food delivery is a competitive space with tight margins, but HungryPanda is carving out its own niche, and differentiating from competitors like UberEats, Deliveroo and FoodPanda, by tailoring its platform for Chinese-language users, including business owners, and focusing on Chinese food and grocery deliveries. It also accepts payment services like Alipay and WeChat Pay, and uses WeChat for marketing.

Chinese communities around the world present a major market opportunity and HungryPanda says its operations in the United Kingdom and New York City are already profitable. According to a U.S. Census Bureau report published last year, the Chinese diaspora around the world ranges from about 10 million, when counting people born in China, to about 45 million under a wider definition that also includes second-generation immigrants and other groups.

In a press statement, HungryPanda CEO Eric Liu said “we are delighted to secure the backing of 83North and Felix Capital to bring our unique service to more people in more places. Their unrivaled industry investment experience, coupled with our ability to focus on the precise needs of our customers and launch in every new city within a two-week window, means we are in an ideal position to significantly scale to the business to meet the huge level of demand created by Chinese cuisine.”

Both 83North and Felix Capital already have other food delivery startups in their portfolios. 83North is an investor and Just Eat and Helsinki-based Wolt, while Felix Capital has backed Deliveroo and Frichti, a French startup that makes all its meals in-house.