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Amazon to inject [pounds sterling]450million into Deliveroo as it ramps up Uber Eats competition; The money - provided for by the world's largest online company - will go towards experimenting with new concepts such as delivery-only kitchens and potentially better pay for workers.

Byline: Emma Munbodh

Amazon is leading a [pounds sterling]450 million investment round in Deliveroo, in a move that could pave way for the firm to be sold off entirely.

It comes just months after Amazon Restaurants UK - the firm's London-based takeaway delivery service - was axed, amid fierce competition from Uber Eats and Just Eat, among other rivals.

Deliveroo announced that the tech giant would join existing investors T Rowe Price, Fidelity and Greenoaks in the round, which takes the total raised by the company to date to 1.53 billion US dollars ([pounds sterling]1.2 billion).

The fresh capital will allow the 'gig-economy' employer to hire more engineers at its London headquarters, which the company said will build on the UK capital's growing reputation as a tech hub.

Will Shu, Deliveroo's founder and chief executive, said: "Amazon has been an inspiration to me personally and to the company, and we look forward to working with such a customer-obsessed organisation.

"This is great news for the tech and restaurant sectors, and it will help to create jobs in all of the countries in which we operate."

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The money will also be put towards experimenting with new concepts such as delivery-only kitchens, in a bid to expand the reach of the company's restaurant partners.

New products are also in the works which Deliveroo has said will give customers a more personalised experience, increase support for restaurants and offer flexible well-paid work to its 15,000 delivery drivers.

According to Sky News, Amazon had previously made two approaches to buy Deliveroo outright, while Uber was said to have held preliminary talks with the British company about a takeover.

Now investors say the move could pave way for an outright takeover of the food delivery giant.

Commenting on the investment, Amazon's UK country manager Doug Gurr said: "We're impressed with Deliveroo's approach, and their dedication to providing customers with an ever increasing selection of great restaurants along with convenient delivery options.

"Will and his team have built an innovative technology and service, and we're excited to see what they do next."

The investment will raise fresh speculation that Deliveroo is eyeing a public offering or sale to a larger company.

Reports last year suggested that the firm was in talks with ride-hailing company Uber over a possible tie-up. However discussions are thought to have stalled over differences in valuation.

It is also set to ramp up competition between Deliveroo and the UK's market leader Just Eat.

Last year Just Eat's share price plunged after Deliveroo unveiled a new feature putting it in direct competition with the operator, allowing restaurants on its platform to fulfil orders using their own drivers.

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Deliveroo has said it will also give customers a more personalised experience, increase support for restaurants and offer flexible well-paid work to delivery drivers

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Title Annotation:Money
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 17, 2019
Words:491
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