Ritual, the Toronto-based food ordering and mobile pickup app, announced on Monday that the company has expanded international operations into its first non-English speaking markets, Germany, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.
The app is now available in Hong Kong, Berlin, Hamburg, and Amsterdam.
This year has seen Ritual make its first moves internationally, expanding its offering into five new markets in the last eight months. In February, Ritual announced it had expanded into the UK and Australia, noting, at the time, its intention to expand into Europe as well. The Ritual app is now available in seven countries and more than 50 cities.
The international expansion follows almost a year and a half after Ritual raised a $90 million CAD ($70 million USD) Series C round led by Georgian Partners. To date, Ritual, which allows users to pre-order food and skip the line in stores, has raised more than $143 million CAD.
Ritual noted that entering into new markets globally brings more restaurants on its platform increased exposure to real-time data and insights, as well as access to new, repeat customers. Earlier this year, the company also pointed to plans to more than triple its restaurant count by the end of 2019.
The company said operating in the UK and Australia offered a good testing ground for its international plans. Ray Reddy, co-founder and CEO of Ritual, noted that Ritual looks for population density, strong restaurant coverage, and a food-focused culture, when looking for new cities. The app is now available in Hong Kong, Berlin, Hamburg, and Amsterdam, which Reddy said met those criteria and also allowed Ritual to maximize its learnings from new, non-English speaking markets.
Reddy addressed the challenges of entering into Hong Kong given the recent turmoil in the city. He told The Globe and Mail that Ritual first set up operations in the city last spring, prior to the protests beginning. Reddy explained that the protests did delay the launch of Ritual’s app by a few weeks, but things have since stabilized with businesses operating as usual.
Launched in Toronto in 2014, and the US in 2017, Ritual has seen a growing number of competitors, from Uber Eats, which began piloting its new “Pickup” service in Toronto earlier this year, to Foodora, and other order-ahead apps from retailers like McDonald’s and Starbucks.