Thailand’s food delivery apps dish out tasty profits

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thailand’s food delivery and on-demand super apps have demonstrated moderate growth despite economic hurdles, with major players generating significant revenue increases in 2023.

Business data provider reports that total revenue for these apps reached 31.7 billion baht last year, rising from 27 billion baht in 2022.

Grab Taxi (Thailand) achieved a profit for the second year running, with revenue increasing by 2.8% to 15.6 billion baht in 2023, marking its slowest growth rate in recent years. Nonetheless, the company’s profit soared by 127% year-on-year, amounting to 1.3 billion baht.

Lineman (Thailand) experienced a revenue jump of 49% to 11.6 billion baht last year. Despite this, the company posted a loss of 253 million baht, a significant improvement from the 2.7-billion-baht loss in 2022.

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Delivery Hero (Thailand), which operates Foodpanda, saw revenue grow by 5.9% to 3.8 billion baht. However, it still recorded a loss of 522 million baht, a notable betterment from the 3.2-billion-baht loss in 2022.

In May, Uber Technologies Inc. and Delivery Hero SE agreed for Uber to purchase Delivery Hero’s Foodpanda business in Taiwan for US$950 million (approximately 34.9 billion baht) in cash.

Siam Commercial Bank’s Purple Ventures, the operator of Robinhood, reported revenue of 724 million baht in 2023, marking a 34% year-on-year increase. Nevertheless, the company faced a wider loss of 2.1 billion baht, compared to the 1.9-billion-baht loss in 2022.

Robinhood’s revenue in 2022 was 538 million baht, a staggering 3,309% increase from the 15 million baht recorded in 2021. The company has continued to expand its services from food delivery to rides, messengers, and travel, maintaining subsidised pricing.

Anantaporn Lapsakkarn, a senior researcher at Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research), noted that the overall performance of on-demand super apps is trending towards sustainable growth with fewer losses.

“Online food delivery services have reached a more mature stage as users have returned to regular lifestyles.”

Due to economic challenges, all players in the market are enhancing their core competencies and leveraging promotions to boost sales during off-peak periods. Price competition has diminished in intensity, reported Bangkok Post.

“We will see those online food delivery and on-demand super apps seek more new revenue streams and grow more healthily.”

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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