Alibaba Group's Daraz Acquires Leading Bangladesh Food Tech Startup HungryNaki to Expand Footprint in South Asia

  • Alibaba-owned Daraz acquires HungryNaki in a move that welcomes the e-commerce giant into the booming Asian food delivery sector
  • This marks the first full acquisition of a local Bangladesh startup by a global e-commerce company, and allows HungryNaki to scale the hyperlocal delivery scene by tapping into Daraz’s complex infrastructure, technology and resources

DHAKA, Bangladesh, March 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Daraz, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group and Bangladesh’s largest e-commerce marketplace, has announced its acquisition of HungryNaki, the country’s leading homegrown food tech company. This marks the first full acquisition of a local Bangladesh startup by a global e-commerce giant, adding to the overall growth of the Asian startup ecosystem and indicating a shift in confidence towards South Asia, regarding investment and business.

The acquisition was signed with the aim of expanding Daraz’s service offerings across more South Asian markets, while providing HungryNaki with the longstanding expertise and experience in customer service and management that Alibaba Group and Daraz will bring to the table. In order to achieve this, HungryNaki will continue functioning as an independent brand under the group, lending its strong client, customer and logistics network while tapping on Daraz’s sophisticated infrastructure countrywide.

"We aspire to be a one stop solution for all our customers’ needs, and getting into the food delivery business is a natural move. HungryNaki is the pioneer in the food delivery business in Bangladesh with a loyal customer base. We believe, instead of building our own food delivery business from the ground up, acquiring HungryNaki is ideal considering these two factors. We believe, by investing in the infrastructure, technology and human resources, we can take HungryNaki into new heights," said Syed Mostahidal Hoq, Managing Director of Daraz.

A Significant Milestone For South Asia’s Startup Ecosystem and Economy

In recent times, Bangladesh has seen remarkable success in the country’s development and digital transformation, including an above average GDP growth rate of 8%. Contributing to a huge slice of the pie is the hyperlocal food and grocery delivery sector, which is expected to grow to over $5 billion by 2025.

Founded in 2013 by co-founders Ahmad AD, Tausif Ahmad and Sazid Rahman, HungryNaki (to mean "Are you hungry?") is Bangladesh’s first food tech company to introduce on-demand food delivery in under an hour. It has played a monumental role in the evolution of the market, making food delivery accessible to as many people in the country as possible. The rapid expansion of the country and industry, helmed by homegrown technology and startups such as HungryNaki, signifies huge opportunities for South Asia in terms of development, employment and innovation.

"We can definitely say that this is an auspicious moment for all of us because this acquisition by Daraz proves that our e-commerce industry is in an optimistic state. Moreover, this is a positive sign for other local startups, and this kind of acquisition will play a full part in the revival of our economy by expediting positive impacts. We will be working with Daraz to make HungryNaki a formidable player in the market," shared AD Ahmad, CEO and Co-Founder of HungryNaki.

Since its inception, HungryNaki has served more than 500,000 customers and over 4,000 restaurants across Bangladesh’s 5 largest cities, including Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar and Narayanganj. With an investor pool including notable names such as Robintex Group and Asif Rahman, the initially bootstrapped startup had previously raised a total of $2.3 million in funding, including its pre-Series A round and bridge financing, and has since successfully maintained a consistent 76% return user order ratio, which ensures a steady year-on-year growth in revenue of 70-90%.

Being the first food delivery startup in Bangladesh to introduce electric bicycles to its fleet, HungryNaki is also committed to the race towards zero carbon emissions, in order to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and scale in a sustainable manner. Leveraging its existing and new business and partnership networks, including restaurants, cloud kitchens and home kitchen services, HungryNaki will be working towards expanding its reach to over 100 cities, and becoming a crucial player in developing the hyperlocal delivery scene in South Asia.

Source: Alibaba Group's Daraz Acquires Leading Bangladesh Food Tech Startup HungryNaki to Expand Footprint in South Asia