How 15m Euro Funded Food App Wolt Seizes Copenhagen’s Full Potential

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Named one of WIRED's 100 hottest European startups, the food app is taking over the continent. Wolt Denmark's General Manager, Patrick Dümer, on opportunities and plans in Copenhagen:

How would you describe Wolt in a few words?

We’re building the one app for discovering and getting great food.

What inspired you to create Wolt? How did it all start?

We love food. And we love tech. Then again, everyone eats 2-5 times a day. We realized that if you can make that experience more effortless, you make a lot of lives easier and end up giving people their time back, which is almost like magic.

The competition in the food industry is fierce. What makes Wolt stand out of the crowd? What is the key differentiator?

We’re a tech company offering an Apple-awarded user experience for discovering the best meals among a big variety and getting them easily – not only as delivered to your home or office but also as picked up by yourself or to the table. We also put enormous effort into having the best customer service as well as an excellent, caring support for our restaurant and courier partners.

In 2015, WIRED named Wolt one of the “100 hottest European startups“. Do you feel you lived up to this promise? How has it impacted the public perception of the startup?

We appreciate these kinds of nominations and awards as they are a small sign that we have done something well. They also help in recruiting. Other than that, we like to concentrate more on the day to day.

You’ve raised more than 15mln€ from investors like Niklas Zennström (Skype) and Risto Siilasmaa (Nokia) and used it to expand to Stockholm and Tallinn among other cities. Are you currently on the hunt for more investment? If so, what would you use it for?

Raising funding is something we will probably look into later in the year. Right now we’ve built a scalable, sustainable and robust product and operation. New investment would be used to put those learnings into use in new markets and further strengthen our product for all of the customers of our platform: hungry consumers, courier partners, restaurant partners.

You recently started operations in Denmark – which potential do you see for Wolt in Denmark and Copenhagen?

We’ve been inspired by Copenhagen’s iconic food scene and its daring new concepts. It’s very exciting to bring an app to a market where people care so much about food. Copenhagen is famous for its wide selection of restaurants, and it is easy to miss out on great choices. Wolt aims to change this and also make good take-away food accessible to a broader audience. The current offering is quite expensive, difficult to navigate and heavily focused on fast food. Wolt wants to make it easy for people across Denmark to discover and get great food – getting it delivered to your home or the park, picking it up yourself on your way home from work or eating in at the restaurant.

Are you using Wolt internally? How does that affect the viewpoints of the development team?

Many of us use Wolt 5-8 times per week. It helps you spot the biggest annoyances as well as the clear possibilities for new feature development.

How 15m Euro Funded Food App Wolt Seizes Copenhagen's PotentialWhat is the biggest challenge that the company has faced?

The biggest – and a continuous – challenge has been to be able to find the best people in each country we operate in. We have a very high bar when it comes to recruiting, and when going to a new country, it takes a while to be able to make people trust in what you are doing since you are not operating there yet and you are not a global player yet. It helps to highlight what we have been able to achieve so far but in particular, discuss what we’d love to build together. We’re super proud of our country teams – each person has gone through a thorough process where both them and Wolt had to prove themselves – and it obviously ended up well.

What is the most memorable moment throughout the history of Wolt?

When we started the delivery bit of the company, we literally kicked off the operation in less than 24 hours, suddenly having our own courier partners on the streets. There are now more than 1,000 of them. The start was definitely a huge push that continued in the form of long days and weeks for the first months, all the while figuring out how to best pull this off.

If there is one thing you could wish for in improving the European startup ecosystem – what would it be?

Any effort that would help startups build a steady inflow of tech talent into Europe from Asia, North America etc. would be more than welcome.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to fellow founders for their startup?

Start by building something that 10 people absolutely love. When you have that nailed down, you are sure to have a service or a product that will be appreciated by way more than those 10 people.



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