Deliveroo co-founder talks tech and takeaways

Intuition and a love for food delivery is driving Deliveroo’s continued success according to its founder Will Shu.
Will Shu Deliveroo
Deliveroo’s uniforms have become common sights in many cities since LBS awarded the firm a Real Innovation Award in 2016.

Shu was back on campus to share the ethos and energy of working with Deliveroo and insights into the phenomenal rise of food delivery, as a guest of LBS’s Tech & Media club.

In a fireside chat with club co-president and Sherpa co-founder Eliska Mallickova (MBA19), Shu said the key to early entrepreneurial success is to start a business that aligns with your interests and to be ready to deal with setbacks. He outlined his analysis of how food consumption has changed and grown.

Shu now believes that the market in food delivery is a lot larger than anyone anticipated a few years ago, a view endorsed by Amazon’s recent investment. (Last month Amazon became the biggest investor in Deliveroo's latest round of fund raising, which in total raised $575m (£450m)).

He described how Deliveroo is using data to help restaurants be more efficient but also how intuition and judgement played an important role in growth at Deliveroo. Shu said his vision relied on the energy of its people “scrappy, relentless and able to work in a fluid environment” and how growth is significantly intertwined with hiring. He also outlined his commitment to flexible working in making Deliveroo an attractive employer.

As well as talent, he described how investment in tech and the development of new delivery kitchens is the area of focus for Deliveroo’s future growth. So far, Deliveroo has grown to 14 markets (500 towns and cities) and 60,000 riders.

Shu was accompanied by Deliveroo colleagues Sam Wechsler (MBA16) Product Manager Logistics Algorithms, Merve Bahar (MBA16) Senior Commercial Finance Manager, who shared their experiences, and the Head of Recruitment, Jamie Edwards.