Science & technology
Food delivery firm hellofood starts taking online orders in Kampala
Publish Date: Sep 04, 2014
Food delivery firm hellofood starts taking online orders in Kampala
Ron Kawamara and his team receiving their award
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By Michael Kanaabi

Uganda’s internet usage is estimated to have grown to close to 8.5 million users this year a Uganda Communications Commission report at the end of 2012 having put it at 6 million with a projected rate of 15 to 20% a year.

These are the numbers global online food delivery firm Hellofood’s Ugandan subsidiary is using to turn around the way people in Kampala buy food by placing orders through their website and having food delivered to their doorstep at no extra cost. 

Research shows that only 2% of internet users in Uganda are using it for business transactions and purchases that include food which is why Ronnie Kawamara the CEO of believes there is a lot of potential for growth in online food deliveries, his company only having opened shop in January and already making an average of 1000 deliveries a week.

For their effort in turning the fast food business in Kampala into big business online, global food purchases and delivery firm hellofood through its local subsidiary won itself the award for best E-Commerce website at the recently concluded Digital Impact Awards Africa that were held at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel.

Online car sales firm Cheki Uganda was runners up in the best E-Commerce category with other local online retailers Jumia, kaymu and I-trade also nominated in the same category. These awards co-organized by the National Information Technology Authority and Makerere University also recognized other big brands like MTN, AIRTEL and government departments that were outstanding online and on social media including URA, NSSF and KCCA.

Food delivery service was the centre of attraction at the awards as research presented showed it is doing an average of 1000 food deliveries around Kampala’s suburbs weekly which is a first in the local food business and is growing at close to 20% a month enabling it scoop the E-Commerce award.

With over 50 restaurants on its register, through bookings on its website and mobile application which can be downloaded free by those with internet enabled mobile devices food is delivered to one’s doorstep 24 hours a day.

Within an hour which is their time limit for delivery, their cab drivers or motorbike delivery men will have delivered your meal to your location as per the details of your order filled out online at no extra cost.

The Company’s CEO Ronnie Kawamara says “Plans are underway to introduce electronic payments through VISA and other cards plus mobile money into their system by the end of this year to do away with any possibilities of payments defaults.”

This won’t be hard considering continental telecom giant MTN is a partner in their global business with a 20% stake. They are also working to grow the number of restaurants they work with to 120 by December.

Their business model has helped restaurants on its register increase sales by an average of 15% noted in the research done leading up to the Digital Impact Awards where Hellofoods won the best E-Commerce award.

Global presence

The company has a presence in 44 countries and started business 10 years ago with its parent company being German based Rocket Internet. Outside Uganda Hello foods last month acquired Russian food delivery service company Delivery Club for 10 million dollars making it the leading food delivery company in Russia.

Together with their affiliated brands foodpanda and Delivery club the company received another round of financing from their core investors including Rocket Internet AG, Falcon Edge Capital and others to the tune of 60 million dollars 2 weeks ago and has raised a total of over 100 million dollars in capital for expansion since 2012. 

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