Finally: Vive La France
Over the last nearly 20 years I have been involved in dozens and dozens of partnerships, acquisitions, mergers, etc. and they all have their own stories and special effects. But in terms of duration of the discussions, Just-Eat can today announce a partnership that beats everything I have ever seen. After more than 2 years of discussions (at times frustrating, at times funny, at times etc. etc.) I am very happy that we have finally made a deal with Sebastien Forest to partner with Alloresto! But the time spend getting this partnership in place was worth every second.
Sebastien launched Alloresto.fr in France all the way back in 1998 (back then called EatOnline.fr), and he is therefore the most senior person in the European online takeaway industry (maybe in the World?) – this is full 3 years before Just-Eat launched. Back then it was not really an industry, because there were hardly any players, and hardly any customers either. Alloresto has had to fight longer to prove the model works than anyone else, because Sebastien was out so early that even general e-commerce was looked at with suspicion.
Few people have the stamina to keep working on something that for the first many years is an uphill battle, but in the case of Alloresto the vision and energy eventually paid of handsomely for Sebastien and his colleagues. Especially the last 5 years he has build a big and very solid business in France. The deep insight into how things work in France plus clear leadership in the category was what made this partnership logical for us. And for Alloresto it is logical to get access to knowledge about how to quickly scale the business to the next level. Together we have spend a lot of time on a new, and very aggressive plan for how to make all of France as enthusiastic about Alloresto’s offering as the hundreds of thousands of existing customers and the 2,500 restaurant partners.
Alloresto will continue to operate under it’s current name (same model as when we partnered with RestauranteWeb in Brazil), and Sebastien will continue running the company and join Just-Eat’s Group Management Team.
At Just-Eat we are looking forward to working with Sebastian and our new French colleagues in the coming years. And visiting Paris from time to time will probably not be the worst part of my job going forward -;)
The official press release is here.