Web

Acquisition by iFood brings on-demand meal service SpoonRocket back from the dead

spoonrocket shuts down photo2 426a635d
Updated on 3-17-2016 by Lulu Chang: Included news of SpoonRocket’s acquisition by Brazil-based iFood. 

It’s not over until it’s over, and that time hasn’t come yet for SpoonRocket. Despite officially announcing its shutdown on Tuesday, the on-demand meal delivery service has been plucked from the jaws of death, thanks to Brazil-based iFood. It certainly seems like a pivot for the Silicon Valley-based SpoonRocket, as its services will now be directed toward the less saturated Latin American on-demand market, but details of the deal have yet to be revealed.

This is by no means the first acquisition iFood has made — the well-funded firm previously absorbed other Brazilian competitors, including Central do Delivery, Papa Rango, and Alakarte. TechCrunch reports that American SpoonRocket is actually iFood’s 15th buyout in the last 48 months.

Initial plans suggest that iFood will utilize SpoonRocket’s advanced logistics platform to improve its own delivery times and order tracking to help them continue their sprint through South America. Already, iFood processes 1.5 million orders every month, and is turning a profit. So as far as Cinderella stories go, this may be a great one for SpoonRocket.

“We are very happy to have found a home for our technology with iFood,” said co-founder Anson Tsui in a release. “Even though SpoonRocket did not work out, I do believe we have one of the best food delivery systems in the world and it is amazing to see it live on through iFood.”

Following a promising launch three years ago as a pre-made meal delivery service, SpoonRocket on Tuesday shut its doors, citing funding issues as the coup de grace. In a related blog post, the company wrote, “We regretfully inform you that SpoonRocket will be shutting down,” and would no longer be able to pursue its mission of providing “delicious food to [its] customers with the most magical delivery experience.”

While TechCrunch reported that SpoonRocket was in fact profitable — in the sense that it managed to sell meals for more than it cost the company to cook, package, and send them off — the operational costs of the business ultimately proved too high to sustain.

Although it was saved by iFood at the last minute (in fact a bit after the last minute), SpoonRocket’s rocky path is a rather harsh wake-up call for other startups in the same space, which has become inundated lately by a range of ventures all promising fresh meals on demand. Even though SpoonRocket managed to raise $13.5 million from Y Combinator and other angel investors back in 2013, and went through a successful 2014 Series A funding round, that wasn’t enough absent an acquisition.

So if you’re looking to start a new company, we’re not saying not to do it — but you might want to think twice before entering the meals space, at least for the time being.

Cars

Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.
Smart Home

Postmates now offers a way to get free delivery on meal orders

Postmates is offering customers the chance to order meals with free delivery. But you'll have to be cool with the idea of waiting a little longer, as the delivery driver will be carrying other meals for different customers.
Business

4 women innovators who are using tech to help others live better lives

Meet four women leaders who are not only at the forefront of technology today, but also using tech — from robotics and medicine to food and undergarments — to help others.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Dodge the cryptojackers with the best torrent clients available today

Looking for the best torrent clients to help you share all of that wonderful legal content you own? Here's a list of our favorite torrent clients, all packed with great features while dodging malware and adverts.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Business

Patreon is having another go at changing the way it charges creators

Patreon messed up pretty badly the last time it tried to change its payment system. Now it's having another go, though this time the changes mainly affect future sign-ups rather than its current community of creators.