“Restaurant tech” attracted more than $8 billion

Home dining traditionally involved a binary choice. “Take it or leave it” was the family cook’s offended response to “why do we always have canned spaghetti on Tuesdays?”That is changing. Delivery apps cater for all tastes and intolerances, nourishing an investment boom… The value of the top seven platforms rose 58 per cent last year… Last year, “restaurant tech” attracted more than $8 billion, up from barely $75 million in 2009… The diners with the biggest appetite are two investment giants, SoftBank of Japan and South Africa’s Naspers. This is set to list itsc internet assets in Amsterdam in July. The float will include stakes in food delivery businesses like Berlin’s Delivery Hero, iFood of Brazil and Swiggy of India… Softbank’stastes are more eclectic. It has backed driverless delivery start-up Nuro SoftBank also invests heavily in conventional meal delivery companies… Giddy valuations make many investors nervous. They think diners will gobble up meals subsidised by investors, with few leftovers in the form of profits… This gloomy view underestimates scope for “network effects” — the grasp on a market achieved by a platform with numerous users and suppliers… The market for online meal delivery could approach $1 trillion by 2023… By then, canned spaghetti on Tuesdays will be no more than a distant memory.