German family business Dr. Oetker plans to take over the four-year-old beverage delivery company Flaschenpost.de. The purchase price is €1 billion, the media say. The cartel authorities have yet to approve the takeover. Dr. Oetker can become number one on the German market in the fast-growing beverage delivery. Dr. Oetker started their own Durstexpress first, but Flaschenpost performed better.
With the takeover, Dr. Oetker strengthens the direct sales and distribution channel for its own products. The product range of the beverage dispensers has been continuously expanded to include soup, pasta, and cleaning products. Online shopping is becoming increasingly important in Germany. The five major German chains, Lidl, Aldi, Edeka, Rewe, and Metro, dominate the food delivery market but feel the competition from Amazon and the Dutch company Picnic (with Edeka as a major shareholder) breathing down their necks.
2019 Flaschenpost revenue was €90 million. According to EU-Startups, the startup is said to have made around €27 million in sales in October alone, which, extrapolated over 12 months, is over €320 million. “The second corona wave will not harm the further growth of Flaschenpost. The new lockdown has in fact accelerated the signing of the deal,” explained Alexander Hüsing, Editor in Chief of Deutsche Startups. Flaschenpost was already growing fast before the pandemic hit, with its sales tripling from 2018 to 2019 and from 2019 to 2020. Although the startup has a negative monthly cash flow of €2.5 million, it was their fast annual growth that impressed Dr. Oetker, who paid around three times the annual turnover as the purchase price. “The annual growth of 200%, the contribution margin of 50%, and the success of the own brands explain the acquisition price,” says VC expert Sven Schmidt.
Flaschenpost claims to process two million consumer orders per year. It provides free delivery within 120 minutes. Delivered from 23 distribution centers to 150 cities in Germany. Flaschenpost now has 7,000 employees. With a valuation of 1 billion euros, Dr. Oetker pays 500 euros per consumer delivery… How are they going to earn back this investment? It seems as if the times of the global Internet bubble are back. Is there a delivery bubble today?
Walther Ploos van Amstel.
Photo: Flaschenpost Presse