Delivery Hero, the takeout food ordering service based out of Berlin, has raised yet more money -- possibly some of its last before an IPO sometime after 2015. It's picked up another $110 million from two unnamed "leading public market investors" out of the U.S., at a post-money valuation that the company says is over $3.1 billion. This latest $110 million brings the total raised in primary equity by Delivery Hero to $1 billion, with nearly $600 million of that raised this year alone. Investors in previous rounds include Insight Venture Partners, General Atlantic, and Rocket Internet (the sole investor behind the $586 million raised so far this year; Rocket also took a $58 million secondary investment), as well as several US-based public fund managers. In an interview by email, Delivery Hero CEO Niklas Östberg would not disclose the names of the investors in this latest round, nor would he give a timeline for when it plans to list publicly. He believes the company will be in a position to list this year -- it's now clocked up 200,000 restaurants across 34 countries, processing 10 million orders each month and generating $165 million in monthly sales for its network of restaurants. But, for now staying private plays to Delivery Hero's advantage against publicly listed competitors, such as Just-Eat, as it can move faster with acquisitions and other strategic moves as a private company. "We will not be able to share investors and also not when we will IPO. Our view is that we will be prepared later this year but will wait until we see a clear benefit from it," he told TechCrunch. "Right now we enjoy the benefits of being private. We have the same financial backing as our public peers while being able to act very long term. This makes us the worst possible competitor you can have. Therefore no plans to IPO in 2015." On the subject of raising more money in the meantime, he remains vague. "I actually don't know if we will raise before [our IPO,]" he says. "We will only take on capital if we see a need for it." The company is being somewhat less quiet about how it intends to use this latest $110 million: "selective acquisitions and intensive product innovation," it notes in a statement. The could mean a couple of different things: Up to now, Delivery Hero has followed the well-trod path of other e-commerce companies, making acquisitions to help the company move into new geographic markets. Some of the most recent include last month's Yemeksepeti in Turkey for $589 million, a record price for a food ordering acquisition; and Pizza.de, acquired in August 2014 at an undisclosed price that valued Delivery Hero at $1 billion. Today, Delivery Hero is active in 34 markets, so there is still room to grow. That could mean more regional consolidation plays to come. (One market where DH is noticeably absent, for example, is the U.S. where Seamless/Grubhub has been one of the bigger names in the market but others like Yelp and Amazon are also looking to do more.) However, the other area where we may see investment is in acquisitions that help Delivery Hero expand not just into countries but into new product areas. This is something that Östberg himself suggests, too, going beyond online takeout and delivery and into other food categories. "We are a product leader today but plan to make a step change by the end of the year," he says. "We will stay focused on food." As a category, however, food is a moveable feast, so to speak: it could mean a move into "meal kits" such as those sold by Blue Apron and others; or grocery delivery; or high-end restaurant delivery. In addition to Insight, General Atlantic and Rocket Internet, other investors include Kite Ventures, Vostok Nafta, Team Europe, ru-Net, Tengelmann Ventures and Point Nine Capital.
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