DoorDash, an on-demand food delivery startup just announced a $17.3 million Series A funding round. The round was led by Sequoia Capital, who also led a $30 million funding round for Sumo Logic this week. Existing investors Khosla Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Pejman Mar Ventures and Ted Zagat (of Zagat Survey) also participated. In the saturated market for the food delivery (particularly in the San Francisco area), DoorDash has a couple of unique selling points. First, its data-driven approach to food delivery, centred around software that plots variables such as inventory, time of day, expected demand and food preparation time. Secondly, DoorDash don’t plan to stop at food delivery.

“We don’t consider ourselves a food-delivery company, but a tech and logistics company that just happens to deal in food,” stated DoorDash co-founder Stanley Tang. “We’re building out the technology and infrastructure to become a super reliant and efficient delivery network.”

Doordash’s data-driven software includes:

  • A self-learning dispatch system that adapts to the variables such as expected demand
  • A capacity-planning algorithm to anticipated how many drivers they’ll need on duty
  • Smart technology focused around preparation time, so driver’s don’t arrive too early, before the food is ready/ too late, when the food’s getting cold
  • A planning system that allows drivers to pick up from multiple places and deliver it to the consumers in batches, rather than just dealing with one order at a time
  • An easy-to-use interface for drivers, which simply tells them where they need to be and when

Phase one of DoorDash’s expansion is taking the service “nationwide”, according to co-founder Stanley Tang. Phase two involves adapting their logistics framework beyond food, hopefully allowing them to pick up and drop off just about any commodity you need delivering. It’s an ambitious plan in a hotly-contested market, but this impressive funding round is certainly a promising start.

Read more here.
(Photo credit: Samat K Jain )

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