Amazon has joined the battle to feed the UK’s insatiable appetite for takeaways by investing in food delivery service Deliveroo.
The US tech giant is the lead investor in a $575 million (£451 million) funding round that will help the British firm expand and out-do its rivals Uber Eats and Just Eat in the UK.
Deliveroo says the investment will allow it to develop its tech base and AI system, and launch its own kitchen spaces that can be rented out to food makers.
The latest partnership is a major boost to the British food delivery service which is fiercely competitive.
Amazon currently sells food in Britain through its Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry and Amazon Prime Now services and has a wholesale deal with supermarket Morrisons.
But its share in the UK grocery market is still less than one percent however, according to market researchers Kantar Worldpanel.
The new £451 million ($575m) round of funding takes the total amount Deliveroo has raised to date to £1.2 billion ($1.53bn) through various investors.
While the amount of investment has not been revealed, news that the world’s biggest online retailer has a major stake in one of Europe’s fastest growing tech companies has sent shockwaves through the sector.
The news has already hit shares in rivals Just Eat, which saw its shares fall 10 per cent, as well as Takeaway.com and Delivery Hero.
Deliveroo founder and CEO Will Shu said the investment would enable the group to further expand its reach, develop its technology and pursue innovations such as the launch of its own kitchens that can be rented to restaurants to meet demand.
‘Amazon has been an inspiration to me personally and to the company, and we look forward to working with such a customer-obsessed organisation,’ Mr Shu said.
With its global headquarters in London, Deliveroo uses 60,000 riders dressed in black and teal jackets to deliver meals from over 80,000 restaurants and takeaway outlets in 14 countries.
These include France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuwait.
In Britain it is locked in a battle with Uber Eats and the online platform Just Eat and its riders are a common sight carrying delivery boxes emblazoned with its kangaroo logo.
Doug Gurr, Amazon UK Country manager, added: ‘We’re impressed with Deliveroo’s approach, and their dedication to providing customers with an ever increasing selection of great restaurants along with convenient delivery options.
‘Will and his team have built an innovative technology and service, and we’re excited to see what they do next.’
The company had also previously tried and failed to run a restaurant delivery service in Britain.
UK’s food delivery war is not only over investments and expansion.
Mailonline recently revealed that fast food delivery drivers are locked in a violent turf war as rival moped riders clash over work on their patch, with gangs from different countries are fighting over the lucrative business in London.
The feuds saw a female Uber Eats rider from Brazil’s scooter set alight by a competitor outside another McDonald’s restaurant in North London.