Burnaby-based food-delivery platform Fantuan buys Chowbus’ delivery business

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The fast-growing, Burnaby-based, Asian-food delivery platform Fantuan has expanded by acquiring the food-delivery side of point-of–sale technology provider Chowbus’ business for an undisclosed amount, the company announced this morning. 

Chicago-based Chowbus will continue to exist as a separate company, and it said in a release that it plans to have its executives develop and improve the company’s software-as-a-service and point-of-sale products. 

“Fantuan and Chowbus will establish a strategic partnership to synergize their respective strengths and resources to enhance food delivery through an expanded restaurant network,” Fantuan said in a statement.

The plan is for that partnership to give users better experiences when ordering food because of higher-quality software that restaurant clients would use. 

CEO Randy Wu and Yao Fei founded Fantuan in Burnaby in 2014, when Wu was a student at Simon Fraser University. The duo then expanded to Toronto in 2016. Venture financing helped it launch in the U.S. in 2019. 

The company has grown to operate in more than 60 cities in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. 

While Fantuan started as a Chinese-language platform that enabled food delivery for Asian food, it has diversified into providing service in English and to offer grocery delivery.

In December, Fantuan landed US$40 million in Series C financing. 

“This strategic acquisition marks a close collaboration between Fantuan and Chowbus, optimizing resources for users, merchants, and delivery drivers,” Wu said this morning.

“It will further extend Fantuan’s advantage as a leader in the U.S. Asian delivery market, enriching our portfolio with more restaurants and users. Together, Fantuan and Chowbus will actively promote Asian food culture, offering users more delicious selections. At the same time, we will collaborate with even more mom-and-pop restaurants and Asian-owned businesses and provide a more comprehensive back of house solution for merchants.”

Fantuan pointed to market research that says that the U.S. has more than 120,000 Asian restaurants and that the Asian-restaurant market is expected to exceed US$230 billion by 2030.

“While Asian cuisine is popular in North America, Asian-owned restaurants face various challenges due to cultural and language gaps,” Fantuan said in a statement. “Both Fantuan and Chowbus are dedicated to helping Asian restaurants thrive by establishing an Asian food ecosystem, delivering greater value for customers, merchants, delivery drivers and all stakeholders.”

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