Deliveroo to open technology base in Scotland

By Andrew Black
Business presenter, BBC Good Morning Scotland

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Deliveroo wants to use its Edinburgh-based technical expertise to improve support for its food delivery riders

Online food delivery company Deliveroo is opening a Scottish technology base - its first outside London - after acquiring an Edinburgh software firm.

Cultivate has already been working with Deliveroo for three years on its payment system, which handles millions of transactions every day.

The new operation aims to improve support for delivery riders.

The deal has come during a time of increasing global interest in Edinburgh's growing technology scene.

The home food delivery market is also in a period of huge change.

High-skilled jobs

Deliveroo is aiming to employ 50 highly-skilled tech experts in Edinburgh within three years - more than trebling the current workforce - made up of engineers, product managers, designers and data scientists.

Cultivate's chief commercial officer Andy Robinson will lead the operation.

He told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "This represents a huge vote of confidence in Edinburgh and a recognition of the quality of the work that is being done in the technology sector in Edinburgh.

"It's also testament to the work that our team has done over the years and it's fantastic that a business of the scale and stature of Deliveroo recognises that and wants to invest in Edinburgh."

Image caption,
Cultivate's Andy Robinson, left, and the company's managing director Paul Wilson, on the right, have been working with Deliveroo for several years, while the delivery firm's Dan Winn, in the centre, praised Edinburgh's tech talent

The new Edinburgh operation will focus on software to improve the way Deliveroo delivery riders are paid and give them more information on earnings, to help better manage their finances.

It will also look at how new technology can be used to help riders save money and assist restaurants manage their cash flow.

London-based Deliveroo now works with 80,000 restaurants and takeaways, delivering food ordered online by customers through a 60,000-strong network of riders across Europe and countries including Australia, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Deliveroo's engineering boss, Dan Winn, said its operation in the Scottish capital would help the company make sure its riders had access to "flexible, well-paid work".

He added: "Edinburgh is one of the UK's fastest growing tech hubs, with access to an excellent talent pool of highly skilled people and university graduates."

Edinburgh's technology sector has been home to several success stories in recent years, including the online travel search firm Skyscanner and sports betting site Fan Duel.

Meanwhile, Deliveroo rivals Just Eat and have proposed an £8.2bn merger, while online giant Amazon wants to invest in Deliveroo - a deal which is being looked at by the UK competition watchdog.

There is also an on-going debate about rights for people working as delivery riders and in other jobs in what is known as the gig economy.

Cultivate is based at CodeBase, Scotland's biggest technology firm campus.

For more on this story and the latest business news as it happens, follow BBC presenter Andrew Black's updates each weekday morning on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme between 0600 and 0900.

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