Deliveroo losses deepen as investment grows

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Losses at Deliveroo continued to rise last year as the delivery firm spent more on its global expansion plans.

Pre-tax losses rose to nearly £185m in 2017, up from £129m the year before, which Deliveroo attributed to investments of £100m.

But global sales more than doubled, jumping to £277m last year from £128.5m in 2016.

Deliveroo said its sales were boosted by "growing maturity in existing markets, improved services and growing order volumes".

Rapid growth

As well as the UK, Deliveroo operates in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

It will be expanding into Taiwan "in coming weeks", with plans to move into other global markets.

"Our growth is matched only by our ambition. We want to become the world's definitive food company and we have invested heavily in innovation, technology, people and restaurants," said chief executive and co-founder Will Shu.

The "gig economy" company connects thousands of bike couriers to customers wanting food from restaurants that do not have their own delivery system.

Deliveroo does not employ its riders directly, but pays them per delivery.

Earlier this year, a group of 50 UK Deliveroo couriers won a six-figure payout after claiming they had been unlawfully denied holiday and minimum wages.

The London-based firm, now five years old, is one of Europe's fastest growing technology companies.

It was valued at about $2bn (£1.5bn) based on its most recent fundraising round last year.

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