DoorDash picks Australia for first move outside North America

DoorDash, America’s biggest food delivery service, is heading to the other side of the globe.

The seven-year-old startup added its first city outside North America on Wednesday, launching in Melbourne and announcing plans to grow its business in Australia over the next year.

DoorDash did not specify why it had chosen Melbourne. “We are excited by the opportunity to extend our vision to a brand new continent for the first time,” Thomas Stephens, the company’s acting general manager for Australia, said in a blog post.

The company will face significant competition. Food delivery is a notoriously competitive sector, and players like Uber Eats and Deliveroo have been operating in Melbourne for years.

To help win customers, DoorDash has teamed up with thousands of restaurants and says it’s partnering with more businesses “every day.”

It also announced a number of splashy promotions, including free delivery for the first month on orders over 10 Australian dollars (about $7), and vouchers worth 30 Australian dollars (about $20) to anyone who doesn’t get their food within 30 minutes.

DoorDash was founded in 2012 and rapidly scaled its business to become the market leader in the United States. Last month, the company accounted for more than a third of US meal delivery sales, slightly more than Grubhub and well ahead of Uber Eats and Postmates, according to Second Measure, a firm that tracks consumer behavior.

The company improved its market share even before announcing it would buy Caviar, a smaller rival that handles delivery for high-end restaurants, for $410 million. In July, DoorDash sales grew by 156% from the same time last year, according to Second Measure.

“Sales across this industry are growing, but DoorDash’s growth stands out,” wrote Kathryn Roethel Rieck, author of the industry report.

The company’s rise hasn’t been without controversy. This summer, DoorDash was forced to change its tipping model after an extensive outcry that its delivery workers weren’t being compensated fairly.